Umberto Eco has been naughty

Archived from The Magdalene Review: Monday 28 November 2005

This is an excerpt from an opinion piece posted today on The Sunday Telegraph opinion page:

God isn’t big enough for some people

by Umberto Eco

G K Chesterton is often credited with observing: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.

The “death of God”, or at least the dying of the Christian God, has been accompanied by the birth of a plethora of new idols. They have multiplied like bacteria on the corpse of the Christian Church — from strange pagan cults and sects to the silly, sub-Christian superstitions of The Da Vinci Code.

It is amazing how many people take that book literally, and think it is true. Admittedly, Dan Brown, its author, has created a legion of zealous followers who believe that Jesus wasn’t crucified: he married Mary Magdalene, became the King of France, and started his own version of the order of Freemasons. Many of the people who now go to the Louvre are there only to look at the Mona Lisa, solely and simply because it is at the centre of Dan Brown’s book.

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Meet your host…

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Sunday 27 November 2005

Who the heck am I, and what gives me the idea that I’m qualified to blog about Mary Magdalene, anyway?

My name is Lesa Bellevie. I’m the founder of, and the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mary Magdalene. Yes, the title is part of the real Idiot’s Guide series, I didn’t rip it off. (Believe it or not, this is a common question.) I’ve been researching Mary Magdalene since 1997, when I first discovered that nothing in the Gospels says she was a prostitute. A software test engineer by trade, I naturally turned to the Internet to see what I could dig up, which, in 1997, was not much. I decided to start my own website to gather all of the information I was able to find about Mary Magdalene and just to see what would come of it. It’s been a fulfilling project and has led to other opportunities that allow me to explore my avocation as an amateur historian. Read more

Why start a Mary Magdalene blog?

Archived post from The Magdalene Review: Saturday 26 November 2005

In March, 2005, John Allemang, of The Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper, had this to say about my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mary Magdalene:

“The author of the Idiots volume on Mary Magdalene, Lesa Bellevie, also runs the website Yet the amount of detail the Bible supplies about Mary Magdalene could almost be written on the head of a pin. So you have to admire the sheer opportunism of a publishing company that can offer a Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jesus’ favourite female follower, which explores ‘who she might have been.'”

I don’t hold a grudge, John, I promise, even though I know no one had access to an advance copy of the book. The reason I’ve included these comments is because it reflects the increasingly common belief that before The Da Vinci Code came along, there was nothing to say about Mary Magdalene. I have one thing I’d like to say in response:

Dan Brown didn’t invent Mary Magdalene.

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