“This book (Angels and Demons) was not interesting due to the mere fact that it was the same or similar to the book The Da Vinci Code more or less a draft of it. I didn't like the author's writing style due to the fact that he exaggerated a lot, and made the book too clumsy for the reader to get through it. Therefore, I recommend that you have a laptop infront of you to research the ideas Dan Brown is talking about. That it why I had to rate it with 3 stars. On the other hand, I liked the book because it was fast paced meaning I can flip through the pages quickly. As well as, the incorporation of the themes of faith, sacrifice, and christianity made the overall book interesting and realistic adding a unique twist to it. In Angels & Demons, Dan Brown highlights Christianity. The writer focuses on the religion that guides two billion of the world’s population. He presents the faith’s ancient wars against the Illuminati and the Priory of Sion into a modern view. Brown shows how the atheists, doubters, and faithful respond towards the religious conflict and how their faith, sacrifice and goals interact. The three prospects are put in conflict, or alliance through out in this novel. This relationship creates two extreme religious views on both sides, and leads to sacrifice and destruction. In the middle of these religious battles lies Robert Langdon symbolizing the ordinary man. The reader sees how Langdon’s values reflect onto his religious choices. The Vatican’s ultimate purpose is guiding the people into accepting the divinity of Jesus, and the existence of a God. However, through history groups have created threats towards this cause. In Angel & Demons, a “satanic” cult threatens the church with total annihilation. The Illuminati were founded in Italy; however the brotherhood has nothing to do with devil worship. The “satanic” characteristic is a misinterpretation created by the Vatican. This group represents the world’s brightest minds that are willing to work against religion in all its forms. To reach their vocation the Illuminati became the most secretive organisation on the planet. Their symbol is a pyramid with an eye on top, which can be found on the United States’ one dollar bill. The eye represents science that illuminates the path of the people and guides them away from what the Illuminati believe is religious brain washing. The group gives Galileo as a prime example of a scientist imprisoned by religion after proving wrong some of Christianity’s claims. The Illuminati’s main goal is to use science as prove that God does not exist. Langdon describes their ultimate quest as “A New World Order, based on scientific enlightenment, they called it their Luciferian Doctrine” (39). The church labeled the Illuminati as satanic based on their Luciferian Doctrine, but the New World Order is a world secular state where Lucifer has the literal meaning of light. History shows that Christianity waged an attack that wiped out the entire organization through the beginning of the twentieth century. But in Angels & Demons, Brown positions Robert Langdon on the front lines of the war that has been rekindled by the murder of Leonardo Vetra. In the novel, the goal of the Illuminati is very clear: The total annihilation of the Vatican using Antimatter, which is science's greatest weapon. Although, Langdon is a scholar who idolizes scientists, he finds himself sympathizing with the church and working on the Path of Illumination. The Illuminati gets very close to eliminating Saint Peter’s Basilica which is the factual and metaphorical rock the Vatican was built on. In the book, faith is described as believing in what one fears, loves, or can’t prove. Most religious faith in the novel is based on fear; ordinary Christians are presented as those who fear the one that can judge them. One the other hand the Illuminati has faith in science which is something they truly love; their faith lies in science. New scientific achievements are miracles in the Illuminati’s eyes. The group can explain religious miracles with science and through science they can recreate them. One example is the “miracle of birth”, where having children was the miracle of giving birth, however today science can recreate life in tubes in laboratories which takes from the value of the miracle. In addition this causes the conflict between the Illuminati and Christianity. The Vatican believes that the Illuminati is degrading spiritual actions and taking away from the mystery of life. One example is the “Big Bang” theory which was originally proposed by a priest, but after science explained the theory the church revoked it. In Angels & Demons, science has recreated the moment of creation in which Antimatter is produced. This example is a symbol of faith in science and religion at the same time. Antimatter can prove the Bible’s: “let there be light” but it can also demean the nature of God since his creation can be recreated. Antimatter is a symbol of how close and yet far faith in science and God can be. To reach religious goals, supported by faith, sacrifice is needed. This sacrifice can range from money to human life. In the Vatican sacrifice is the base of the religious structure. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when he was crucified. In Angels & Demons, the leader learns that the dead pope had not committed to a necessary sacrifice. Ventresca learns that the pope had a child, but he doesn’t know that he is that child. Even so, by having a child the late pope crumbled the faith system Ventresca had built for himself. He felt betrayed by his own self and religion which lead to scheme of recreating the Illuminati. Ventresca again is the character with the most faith through the novel. He believes that God guides his thoughts which helps in making the decision of sacrificing the “Preferreti” so that no new pope can be announced. Overall, this novel has sparked a dwindling interest in religion. Tourists go to Rome, London, and the Vatican so that they can be where Robert Langdon was in a fictitious novel. People are learning more about the Illuminati, Priory of Sion, and Opus Dei. Considering that these organizations are factual makes the novels more realistic to everyone. People are helped into making decisions on what side they want to take. Dan Brown’s message is clear; every one benefits from having faith in something. However to achieve the goals of a faith, one can expect sacrifice. Robert Langdon who was completely lost in Angels & Demons finds his identity in the book the Da Vinci Code. He finds a faith in the Priory’s. ”
Do you feel the inherent spiritual conflict contained within this book overwhelms any sense of mystery, action or plot?
The spiritual conflict does not overwhelm the sense of mystery, action or plot. On the contrary, it compliments the sense of mystery for both the spiritual and non-spiritual readers. The conflict also pushes the action and plot along a concise boundary where the reader sees the spiritual impact on the opposing sides. Dan Brown's message of power and faith overlooks each one of his characters and what they believe in. The conflict of beliefs makes for extreme actions by both sides, with one side never truly erasing the other.