Channel 4 – Faith and belief – Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code

31 Jul

I watched this documentary on DVD last night, courtesy of Surry Hills Library and our dead TV antenna: Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code. There is little evidence of this doco on YouTube; the item I have posted in the VodPod today is from a “friendly source.”

I borrowed the doco with World Youth Week in mind; it is most enlightening. Perhaps the best aspect of the DVD is the two hours of uncut interviews packaged with it, which cover a range of viewpoints for and against this controversial organisation. Undoubtedly backward-looking in theology, Opus Dei is on the other hand travestied in The Da Vinci Code, most of which is nonsense on the subject. For example, there are no monks, albino or otherwise, in Opus Dei. However, I do suspect there are some Australian journalists in its orbit, if not in its ranks. It is at one level a holiness movement, and a lay movement, not totally unlike some of the holiness or revival movements in Protestant churches in the past, Methodism in its early days being an example.

It differs from groups like the US Sojourners — behind the God’s Politics blog I have a feed from in my side bar — in that it seeks to compete with or even capture secular organisations, which is rather more than Sojourners seeks; Sojourners, from what I can see, is about articulating a progressive voice from a somewhat evangelical perspective as an alternative to the dominant right wing discourse in the US, but it does not seek to compete with secular voices in too aggressive a manner, and certainly does not seek to capture secular institutions, but rather seeks to complement other progressive movements. Naturally, however, Sojourners does bring a religious perspective into what it says and does; that is the whole point after all.

On Sojourners, for example, see The IMF Files: They Want to Believe (by Elizabeth Palmberg) — a rather sane look at the International Monetary Fund, and a worthy contribution to the wider debate.

Back to Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code. I do recommend it. Two sites that were referred to in the program: Opus Dei itself, and Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN).

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Posted by on July 31, 2008 in Christianity, dvd, faith, faith and philosophy, fundamentalism and extremism, religion, TV


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