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Book Club Discussion Questions: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

For those of you that haven't or couldn't attend book club lately, we'll be publishing the previous months' discussion questions here. As of this post, all of the books we have ever covered in Book Club have been dutifully recorded for future reference. If there are any books you want similar reads for or more information on, please feel free to contact your local reference librarian for more details. Also, if you are one of our members and are interested in covering a particular book, let us know. We are always looking for good books to cover. Here are the questions from our inaugural title, The Da Vinci Code. We hope these questions spark discussions of your own.

 

The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown


Summary:

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever. -- Publisher description

 

Discussion Questions

Official Questions

  1. As a symbologist, Robert Langdon has a wealth of academic knowledge that helps him view the world in a unique way. Now that you've read The Da Vinci Code, are there any aspects of life/history/faith that you are seeing in a different light?

  2. Langdon and Teabing disagree as to whether the Sangreal documents should be released to the world. If you were the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, would you release the documents? If so, what do you think their effect would be?

  3. What observations does this novel make about our past? How do these ideas relate to our future?

  4. Other than his fear of being framed for murder, what motivates Langdon to follow this perilous quest? Do his motivations change?

  5. The novel's "quest" involves numerous puzzles and codes. Did you enjoy trying to solve these puzzles along with the characters? Did you solve any of the puzzles before the characters did?

  6. If you could spend a day in any of the places described in this novel, where would it be, and why? The Louvre? Westminster Abbey? Rosslyn Chapel? The Temple Church? Somewhere else?

  7. Historian Leigh Teabing claims the founding fathers of Christianity hijacked the good name of Jesus for political reasons. Do you agree? Does the historical evidence support Teabing's claim?

  8. Has this book changed your ideas about faith, religion, or history in any way?

  9. Would you rather live in a world without religion...or a world without science?

  10. Saunière placed a lot of confidence in Langdon. Was this confidence well-placed? What other options might Saunière have had? Did Saunière make the right decision separating Sophie from the rest of her family?

  11. Do you imagine Langdon should forgive Teabing for his misguided actions? On the other hand, do you think Teabing should forgive Langdon for refusing to release the Sangreal documents?

  12. Does the world have a right to know all aspects of its history, or can an argument be made for keeping certain information secret?

  13. What is interesting about the way this story is told? How are the episodes of the novel arranged and linked? In your discussion, you might want to identify where the turning points in the action are where those moments are after which everything is different. Did you anticipate them?

  14. What is the novel's theme? What central message or idea links all the other components of the novel together?

  15. For most people, the word "God" feels holy, while the word "Goddess" feels mythical. What are your thoughts on this? Do you imagine those perceptions will ever change?

  16. Will you look at the artwork of Da Vinci any differently now that you know more about his "secret life?"

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