Yep, that's what the best-selling author from New Hampshire claims to be, according to The Chicago Tribune, which reports on Brown being in Britain's High Court in London to answer accusations that he stole ideas from Holy Blood, Holy Grail for his mega-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code:
Brown, who was expected to testify next week, told reporters outside court that this idea had no appeal for him. "Suggesting a married Jesus is one thing, but questioning the Resurrection undermines the very heart of Christian belief," said Brown, who described himself as a committed Christian.
Uh, okay. Far be it from me to question Dan Brown's "commitment" to Christianity, especially when he has already said that he not a "traditional" Christian. His website, in the FAQ section, once said:
THIS NOVEL UNEARTHS SOME SURPRISING CHRISTIAN HISTORY. ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?
I am, although perhaps not in the most traditional sense of the word. If you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. [emphasis added]
But now says:
ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?
Yes. Interestingly, if you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers.
And then there is the fact that his novel positively claims that Jesus was not divine, nor did anyone believe he was until A.D. 325. Oh well. Brown's lawyer insists his client's novel does not rely heavily on Holy Blood, Holy Grail:
But Jonathan Baldwin, representing Random House, said Baigent and Leigh were making "wild allegations." He said they were suggesting that "Mr. Brown has appropriated not only the numerous parts of a jigsaw puzzle but the organizational way (Baigent and Leigh) put it together."
"In brief, the complaint appears to be that 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail' discloses the idea that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, that they had children which survived and married into a line of French kings, that the lineage continues today, and that there is a secret society based in France which has the objective of restoring this lineage to the thrones not only of France but to the thrones of other European nations as well, and that ('The Da Vinci Code') uses some of this idea," Baldwin said.
He said Brown referred to "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" in his novel, but the earlier book "did not have anything like the importance to Mr. Brown which the claimants contend it had."
Really? I know nothing about plagiarism laws in England, but I do know that Brown's novel relies very heavily on Holy Blood, Holy Grail, not just for big ideas, but even for lots of small details, especially relating to the "theory" of Jesus and MM being married, having a bloodline, etc., etc. However, when it comes to Leonardo da Vinci and his paintings, Brown relies almost exclusively on The Templar Revelation (1996), also written by Brits (Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince). Plenty of examples can be found in our book, The Da Vinci Hoax. But, again, having no idea what constitutes plagiarism or a breach of copyright in England, I don't know if the court will care about such similarities.
Thanks to Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz and the Epiphany blog for sending me the Tribune article.