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View Full Version : Is there a Protestant equivalent of The Da Vinci Code?



Saint Fool
09-11-2006, 08:10 PM
EDIT: If this is in the wrong place -- maybe it should be under thrillers - please feel free to let the mods know so they can move it.

Seriously - is there no potential for high drama, hidden objects, satanic holy men and darkest conspiracy in other branches of Christianity? I ask because a Roman Catholic friend of mine is sick and tired of seeing her faith used as the center piece for strange weirdness, recycled conspiracy plots, and clues a seven-year-old could figure out and wants something along the lines of The Anglican Afterward or The Salvation Strategy or Baptized in Blood (well ... the last one could be over the top.)

I know both Nevada Barr and J. A. Jance have recently used what I think of as radical-polygamist-teenage girls/senile old men-Mormans in recent books. Tommy Thompson had a "Billy Sunday" tent-preacher n his book Celebrity published back in the 1970s.

And I must admit it's got me to thinking (hides "Southern Baptist/Episcopal conspiracy gone terribly wrong" idea from prying eyes) ... because it might be the next new genre.

Ralyks
09-12-2006, 12:21 AM
Catholicism is attacked in literature primarily because it is the oldest and most visible (i.e. in outward appearances--from cathedrals to priestly robes) form of Christianity. It also has an element of mystery to it that most forms of Protestantism lack, and a literary history of its own that most forms of Protestantism lack. Catholicism also has a rich history of Christian legend which, again, Protestantism lacks.

That said, there is plenty of hate to go around, if not of the mystery/conspiracy variety. I believe The Handmaid's Tale is a good example of anti-Christian venom of the fundemntalist Protestant variety.

Roger J Carlson
09-12-2006, 06:07 PM
Also, most Protestant denominations don't have the huge hierarchical structure that a good conspiricy theory book needs.

But you can cheer your friend up with this: Protestants, especially Protestant pastors, are routinely protrayed as hypocritical, bigotted, hate-mongers in both books and film.

Saint Fool
09-12-2006, 08:57 PM
Just out of curiosity, Roger, can you give me some specifics as to book and film titles?

Medievalist
09-12-2006, 09:56 PM
Honestly, the closest thing that comes to mind is The Scarlet Letter, and that's not at all the same.

johnnysannie
09-12-2006, 10:43 PM
Just out of curiosity, Roger, can you give me some specifics as to book and film titles?

None of the following suggestions are an exact match but here's what came to mind:

Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis - classic from an earlier era

Although I have not read them (lack of interest) the Tim La Hay books

The Gathering Place, Becca Anderson

There is also a novel I've read in recent years based on the idea that there are or were some missing books of the Bible from Alexandria but the name as well as the author escapes me. If I remember, I'll post it!

Roger J Carlson
09-12-2006, 11:39 PM
Just out of curiosity, Roger, can you give me some specifics as to book and film titles?Books:
"Grass Roots" by Stuart Woods
"The Handmaiden's Tale" by Margaret Atwood
"Misery" by Stephen King
"Carrie" by Stephen King

Movies:
"Wise Blood" directed by John Huston
"KGOD" directed by Rick Friedberg
"Pray TV" directed by Robert Markowitz
"Footloose" directed by Herbert Ross
"Dragnet" starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks
"Leap of Faith" directed by Richard Pearce
"The Shawshank Redemption" directed by Frank Darabont
"Ed Wood" directed by Tim Burton
"Saved" directed by Brian Dannelly

Saint Fool
09-13-2006, 02:46 AM
Roger -- Not to be disrespectful, but this word Protestant, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Grass Roots - The only Woods book I'm familiar with (and loved) is Chiefs. I think I started to read this one and discovered that Will was a bit more of a "Bobby Sue" than I like and I never finished it. However, liberal southerners like Woods do tend to look at evangelical money men who dabble in politics with a bit of a jaundiced eye. (In fact, conservative Republican Georgians rejected Ralph Reed soundly this primary season so political preference may have nothing to do with it.)

The Handmaiden's Taleby Margaret Atwood - When this book first came out, I thought that the fundamentalist patriarchal society she created was more than a bit over the top. After working two years with an extremely conservative born-again who had strong beliefs about why God created white men, George Bush, and America, I can see how such a society could be possible - but not probable if only because a majority of Protestant women would put their spike-heeled feet down really hard.

Misery - I pulled this one off of the shelf and after skimming it am not sure where the Protestant religion comes into play here. If Annie has any kind of serious religion, I would say she worships at the altar of Misery Chastain. But if you want to give me chapters with examples, I'll be happy to give then a read.

Carrie - some religions have madmen who fly airplanes into buildings. Some religions have madmen who believe it is OK to shoot abortion providers in the back. In my opinion, at no point in King's book, is Carrie's mother portrayed as anything other than someone who is traveling a dark religious road of her own devising. I certainly didn't consider her to be a Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, or Lutheran all of which fall under the umbrella term of Protestant.

Wise Blood - Brilliant John Houston adaptation of an astonishing Flannery O'Conner story (and Brad Doyriff deserved an Oscar.)

KGOD and Pray-TV - never hear of them.. IMBD has them listed. KGOD sounds like bad straight to video crap. Pray TV - with John Ritter and Ned Beatty was actually a made for TV movie according to IMBD and sounds sort of interesting.

Footloose directed by Herbert Ross - loved it. Especially the opening. Anyone who is against dancing deserves to be laughed at loudly and often, IMHO, no matter what their position in life.

Dragnet starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks - Never saw it. can you tell me how they bashed Southern Baptist, Anabaptist, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist or Lutheran preachers in this one?

Leap of Faith directed by Richard Pearce = although it was not a perfect film the notion of a faith healer who "fakes it" (and please do not deny that there are "faith" healers who are frauds) and then discovers that he's actually really healed someone was interesting and as often happens, Steve Martin was better than his material.

The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont - love the movie. Need you to remind me of the significance/purpose of the role the Protestant minister played in this one.

Ed Wood directed by Tim Burton - This was a movie about a straight guy who liked to wear pink angora sweaters and who made terrible movies with a great deal of love and very little money. Please forgive me if I can't recall the humiliation of the Protestant minister in this since Johnny Depp played the lead.

Saved directed by Brian Dannelly (who I believe is "born again."). A sweetly sentimental film about teenage girls in a Christian high school. Definitely matinee or a rental but a good watch. I must admit that I enjoyed seeing the "more Christian than thee girl" get her comeuppance.

I'm sorry, but I really don't see the huge amount of "Preacher" bashing that you seem to think is going on. Especially since "Saved" is your newest example and was released over a year ago.

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-13-2006, 03:29 AM
John D. MacDonald's "One More Sunday" shreds televengalists.
"Elmer Gantry", the movie.


It's hard to have intrigue without Jesuits! We need Protestant Jesuits!

Roger J Carlson
09-13-2006, 05:25 AM
Roger -- Not to be disrespectful, but this word Protestant, I do not think it means what you think it means.
<snip>
I'm sorry, but I really don't see the huge amount of "Preacher" bashing that you seem to think is going on. Especially since "Saved" is your newest example and was released over a year ago.Hmmmm... When exactly did this become denominational oneupmanship? Sorry, I'm not playing.

Saint Fool
09-13-2006, 05:32 AM
???

Gravity
09-13-2006, 05:46 AM
I had a feeling this thing was gonna spiral out of control (mainly downward) after reading the first post. Wow. And I bet a bag of peanuts it'll get worse...

mrsrgm
09-13-2006, 04:06 PM
I loved 'Saved', too. For the same reason. And 'Leap of Faith'. Did you know that 'Footloose' was based on a real church-led dancing ordinance in a small town right here in the Texas Panhandle? I agreed with S'Fool on pretty much everything. I can't say 'all' because I haven't seen all the movies. As far as Protestant conspiracies - How bout the Klan?

johnnysannie
09-13-2006, 04:50 PM
Not to be disrespectful, but this word Protestant, I do not think it means what you think it means.
.


At the risk of putting my proverbial foot into my cyber mouth, I have to wonder what your definition of "Protestant" might be.

To me, the definition is very basic - Protestants are any Christian sects other than Catholic or Eastern rite. The very word "Protestant" comes from the protesters such as Martin Luther who rejected the status quo of Christianity to create a new version. Before the Reformation there were no Protestants.

BTW my Webster's dictionary bears out my understanding of the term.

Saint Fool
09-13-2006, 05:46 PM
Although the 20th century Klan considered Roman Catholics, Jews and those who sympathized with them "undesirables," their power came not from the public backing of any church, but from secrecy, fire, and violence. Besides, they've become a literary cliche along with the Nazis.

To get this thread back to my original intent (which I will admit that I helped to get off track by asking Roger for examples) after Roger's comment about most Protestant denominations not having a huge hierachical structure, I began doing some research and am surprised by just how hierarchical most of them are. They may not all have prelates and bishops and cardinals but any church that has a national presence has national, regional, state, and local directors, associate ministers and assistant ministers. Youth minsters, Teen ministers, musical ministers, outreach ministers and all the attendent support structure. Independent mega churchs. There's more than enough room for a rogue operator with influence.

A friend told me suggested that I look at the various lobbying organizations and "think tanks" that have close ties to Protestant churches. THAT is going to be one huge project as there are more than a few - but I can also see potential plot lines there.

But Tsu is right. Protestant Jesuits would be helpful as dramatic devices.

Probably the biggest problem - well the biggest problem will be writing the darned book - but the second biggest problem would be getting past the perception that Protestants are .... well ... boring.

Saint Fool
09-13-2006, 06:14 PM
Johnnie - that's my definition of Protestant also and it is a darned wide umbrella that covers differing creeds and philosophies (which - of course - points up again yet another problem of a Protestant Da Vinci code - they're so fractious that you'd have to choose one denomination and that would make the rest jealous or gleeful.) The examples Roger chose appeared - from my point of view - to be slanted toward those denominations of a more fundamental and conservative outlook. He chose Footloose but many Protestant churches have no problems with people dancing. Indeed, it is only a small minority that do. And yet he cites it as an example of Protestant bashing.

So yes ... from his selection of books and movies and my reactions to those selections .. Roger does appear to have a definition of Protestant that differs from mine and I stand by my comment. I only regret that he perceived it as gamesmanship which I certainly did not intent.

johnnysannie
09-13-2006, 06:49 PM
Then we're on the same page....now if we just knew what page Roger was on!!

Roger J Carlson
09-13-2006, 06:58 PM
To get this thread back to my original intent (which I will admit that I helped to get off track by asking Roger for examples) after Roger's comment about most Protestant denominations not having a huge hierachical structure, I began doing some research and am surprised by just how hierarchical most of them are. I should clarify that statement. First of all, let me define both "Protestant" and "hierarchical" as I used them.

Protestant: Any denomination which broke from the Catholic Church and all derivative denominations. Thus all denominations which broke from one of the original Protestant churches would also be considered Protestant. In addition, there are a lot of denominations in this country that were started by groups of people independant of established denominations, but which have Protestant roots.

So, for example, the Baptist General Conference, the Evangelical Free Church, and the Evangelical Covenant are all denominations whose roots were in the Swedish Lutheran Church. They did not break from the Catholic Church directly, nor did they break from the Lutheran Church exactly. They were created by Swedish Immigrants to America who wanted to worship differently from the structure they knew at home. They are still Protestant.

Hierarchical: A denomination which owns, supervises, and controls individual churches through a hierarchical structure.

The Lutheran Church is an example of such. The Synod actually controls the member churches, assigns pastors, and so forth.

However, the denominations mentioned above are not hierarchical, even though they have a national headquarters, regional directors, and so forth. Basically, these denominations are associations of independent churchs who join together to do as a group what they could not do individually, eg. missions. There are a LOT of these non-hierarchical denominations in the US.

My original point is that from a dramatic standpoint, it would be harder to have an "evil" Regional Director (of a non-hierarchical denomination) if he doesn't have control of his member churches. A conspiracy would be easier to perpetrate in a hierarchical denomination where the leaders have direct control to hire, fire, move funds, and so forth.

The Lutheran Church or the Episcopal Church might be better choices. Southern Baptists have a lot of hierarchical power as well, but I don't know if they have the kind of power you'd need for your story.

Note: My comment about the portrayal of Protestants was an aside meant to show that it's not only Catholics that are sometimes portrayed negatively in film and print media. You asked for examples, and I gave them. I don't know why you decided to debate it. The issue has very little relevance to the topic at hand, and I would appreciate it if you would stop bringing it up.

Lolly
09-15-2006, 02:02 AM
The Lutheran Church or the Episcopal Church might be better choices. Southern Baptists have a lot of hierarchical power as well, but I don't know if they have the kind of power you'd need for your story.

I grew up Southern Baptist, and no, they wouldn't. SB churches are hugely independent; they don't even have to belong to the national body. The national conference is just a loose confederation of churches that voluntarily pay dues.


Note: My comment about the portrayal of Protestants was an aside meant to show that it's not only Catholics that are sometimes portrayed negatively in film and print media. You asked for examples, and I gave them. I don't know why you decided to debate it. The issue has very little relevance to the topic at hand, and I would appreciate it if you would stop bringing it up.


Protestants are routinely portrayed as religous zealots in the media. Last year in some British crime drama a nut was kidnapping and murdering abortion doctors. Guess who the culprit was? BIG surprise. :rant:


A good book about a religous conspiracy is Frank Peretti's Messiah. That's where some guy comes to town and convinces half the population he's Jesus. He even performs miracles. It was a pretty good story.

Ralyks
09-15-2006, 02:09 AM
The short answer is: because no one is afraid of Lutherans and Episcopalians.

People ARE afraid of Catholics and "fundamentalist" and "evangelical" Protestants, and thus you will see the regular bashing of such Christians in books and film. With very rare exceptions, only Christians who conform to liberal political dogma and teach religious universalism come off clean. Nine times out of 10, if a Christian fundamentalist or evangelical is portrayed in a book or movie, he will be portrayed negatively.

Ned Flanders is actually the most flattering portrait of a television evangelical I can think of. That is a nuanced mockery that is almost...well, almost affectionate. It's one an evangelical such as myself can laugh at. The TV show Lost also has more nuanced portrayals of religious people than most shows; Eko is a devout Catholic and has not yet--at least--been made a total nutcase. Time will tell on that one.

But most of the time--9 times out of 10--religious Christians will be portrayed as bigots, serial killers, women oppressors, wife beaters, lunatics, secret hypocritical homosexuals, or the like. They will be villains through and through--except and unless they are suddenly enlightened and realize that Christ was, in fact, a liberal Democrat who went about 1st century Palestine preaching against global warming and in favor of diversity training.

It would be hard to write a conspiracy novel with a Protestant denomination at its core. Part of that is, as I said, no one is afraid of the mainline hierarchical churches--the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Episcopalians. The generally more conservative Protestant denominations--of which they are afraid--tend to have limited hierarchy and fairly independent congregations. Even those with hierarchy rarely take their hierarchy seriously or even know half the time what doctrines and "position statements" the out-of-touch bishops and councils and conventions are churning out. As denominations, they don't have enough of a top-down structure for a conspiracy to work itself out. Any conspiracy would have to be a conspiracy of a handful of elders or deacons. Not much excitement there.

Another impediment is the lack of history. Protestantism is too fractured, too new, to really (legitimately) trace its roots back for two thousand years the way the Catholic church can. Granted, I know there was always a small, faithful band of Baptists dating back to the 1st century AD, carrying on the one true religion.... ;)

One more impediment--the lack of sacraments. Yeah, some Protestants have them (communion and baptism), but most don't adopt a sacramental theology the way the Catholics do--there is very little mystery, very little "magic" for lack of a better word. And this makes for very dull conspiracies.

The reason Footloose is an example of Protestant bashing is because it is the only way Hollywood can seem to conceive of portraying a devout Protestant. No, all devout (even all fundamentalists) Protestants aren't against dancing...but when Hollywood thinks of devout Protestants, that's the kind of character they think of--a rigid, unloving, legalistic type. The mind goes no deeper. The stereotype is inflexible and deep-seeded. And so that's the kind of devout Protestant we get--again and again and again and again.

I just thought of a great TV exception, though--kudos to X-files for that awesome episode where the good, liberal, open-minded pastor turns out to be the devil, and the snake handling nutcase conservative Christian is actually right! And someone (Mulder I think) says, "Maybe the devil is just a nice guy who tells us what we want to hear." As I was watching that episode, I was getting rankled, thinking: these are typical Hollywood portrayals, where only liberal Christians are acceptable and capable of goodness, and all conservative Christians are evil and crazy. As I was watching, I said to myself--the only thing that could redeem this is if they reversed the roles, but what screenwriter would ever do that...and bam, they did. Beautiful.

mrsrgm
09-15-2006, 05:34 AM
[quote=skylarburris] They will be villains through and through--except and unless they are suddenly enlightened and realize that Christ was, in fact, a liberal Democrat who went about 1st century Palestine preaching against global warming and in favor of diversity training.


That made me LOL! That is SO true, more often than not. Also, I agree about Ned Flanders. There is a soft spot in my heart for the genuine man who just wants os much to make the world better as he cluelessly travels about mainstream America. I adore him....

Roger J Carlson
09-15-2006, 05:41 AM
I grew up Southern Baptist, and no, they wouldn't. SB churches are hugely independent; they don't even have to belong to the national body. The national conference is just a loose confederation of churches that voluntarily pay dues.Ah, good to know. The Baptist Church I grew up in was also independent, but based on news items about the Southern Baptist national convention and some of their policy statements, I wasn't sure if that was true of Southern Baptists.

Higgins
09-15-2006, 08:32 PM
EDIT: If this is in the wrong place -- maybe it should be under thrillers - please feel free to let the mods know so they can move it.

Seriously - is there no potential for high drama, hidden objects, satanic holy men and darkest conspiracy in other branches of Christianity? I ask because a Roman Catholic friend of mine is sick and tired of seeing her faith used as the center piece for strange weirdness, recycled conspiracy plots, and clues a seven-year-old could figure out and wants something along the lines of The Anglican Afterward or The Salvation Strategy or Baptized in Blood (well ... the last one could be over the top.)

I know both Nevada Barr and J. A. Jance have recently used what I think of as radical-polygamist-teenage girls/senile old men-Mormans in recent books. Tommy Thompson had a "Billy Sunday" tent-preacher n his book Celebrity published back in the 1970s.

And I must admit it's got me to thinking (hides "Southern Baptist/Episcopal conspiracy gone terribly wrong" idea from prying eyes) ... because it might be the next new genre.

Protestants are not currently famous as conspirators though I guess the Masons could be seen as a Protestant or at least Anti-Counter-Reformation underground. In the Backlash against the French Revolution there were a lot of conspiricy theories that talked about the Judeo-Masonic/Illuminati type conspirators and as recently as the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s the "Judeo-Masonic Conspiricy" was cited as the enemy of say, Serbian Nationalists.

Medievalist
09-15-2006, 08:54 PM
The SBC is the legal ordination body as well.

BrianTubbs
09-16-2006, 08:14 AM
But most of the time--9 times out of 10--religious Christians will be portrayed as bigots, serial killers, women oppressors, wife beaters, lunatics, secret hypocritical homosexuals, or the like. They will be villains through and through--except and unless they are suddenly enlightened and realize that Christ was, in fact, a liberal Democrat who went about 1st century Palestine preaching against global warming and in favor of diversity training.



You are exactly right. Couldn't have put it better myself.

BrianTubbs
09-16-2006, 08:19 AM
Another impediment is the lack of history. Protestantism is too fractured, too new, to really (legitimately) trace its roots back for two thousand years the way the Catholic church can. Granted, I know there was always a small, faithful band of Baptists dating back to the 1st century AD, carrying on the one true religion.... ;)



LOL! :roll:

I'm a Baptist, and you got me rolling on that one. Very nice.

Lolly
09-20-2006, 09:19 PM
Ah, good to know. The Baptist Church I grew up in was also independent, but based on news items about the Southern Baptist national convention and some of their policy statements, I wasn't sure if that was true of Southern Baptists.

I'm trying to think how to put this, since I don't want to offend anybody. Let's just say that the SBC leadership may bark, but the churches don't always bite. To quote one press release (discussing how they had just appointed a woman to a position of leadership): "It appears that the Baptist Convention of Texas is not quite as conservative as the national SBC leadership."

mrsrgm
09-24-2006, 05:04 PM
I just had an article printed in our local newspaper about the subject of women in leadership. I was amazed when many people called my house or sent me letters to say that they agreed with my point of view. This is an overly conservative area, more Southern Baptists than any other denomination, and I feared being branded a heretic, but ended up with only one dissent.

Lolly
09-26-2006, 02:49 PM
I just had an article printed in our local newspaper about the subject of women in leadership. I was amazed when many people called my house or sent me letters to say that they agreed with my point of view. This is an overly conservative area, more Southern Baptists than any other denomination, and I feared being branded a heretic, but ended up with only one dissent.


Wow. I'm really impressed. Although, having been a Baptist in Texas for many years, it doesn't entirely surprise me.

ggglimpopo
09-26-2006, 04:48 PM
At the risk of sounding flippant, with the amount of filthy lucre it is pulling in, I am amazed not to see a Jewish or Protestant version of this on the shelves. I saw "The Gay Da Vinci Code" for sale in a French bookshop recently.

mrsrgm
09-29-2006, 03:47 PM
Lolly - The article was PRO women teaching men, based on the Acts 2 verse that says "In the last days...your sons and daughters will prophesy"...Not a typical Texas Baptist opinion, I've been told.

I know too many women that are much more capable than many of the men I know to teach - my argument was that if the woman is capable, then that's a good thing.

Ralyks
09-30-2006, 09:52 PM
As for writing about "Jewish religious conspiracies", that kind of thing has a horrible and disastrous history of lying and calumny associated w/ it. I wdn't even joke about it, let alone write a serious work of fiction based on such material.

Yes, but thank God we can still lie about evangelical Protestants and Catholics and write fiction based on such lies. It's a relief that at least one acceptable prejudice remains. Where would we direct all our righteous indignation if there weren't at least one group of people it was fashionable to hate?

Peggy
10-01-2006, 01:21 AM
Like most of you have said, I don't think there could really be a DaVinci Code equivalent for protestants. That involved a conspiracy that spanned thousands of years, which needed an organization that has/had world wide influence and great wealth to cover things up. There are a couple of variations I could imagine though:

- A large protestant group funds an archaeological dig in the Holy Lands. They discover an important artifact of religious significance, and some who know about it become power hungry and conspire to keep the knowledge of the artifact for themselves. They co-opt members of their church who have positions of power in the government and military to keep the secret.

- One of the UK members of AW can correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the Anglican church has a hierarchical structure similar to the Catholic church. Even the Queen could be involved in a conspiracy.

For me, the key to an entertaining conspiracy book is that it really needs to involve people who have governmental power. That was certainly true of the Catholic church through the centuries. Characters like Elmer Gantry don't really fit the bill, because they operate as individuals, not due to a world-wide conspiracy.

mrsrgm
10-01-2006, 04:15 PM
There was a movie similar to your first example, Peggy. I believe it was called "The Body" (?) and it involved the discovery of Christ's grave and the desperation of the church leaders to keep it hidden. It was the Catholic Church in that movie, but could have as easily been Protestant.....

Evaine
10-01-2006, 04:32 PM
The Anglican Communion is world-wide (thanks to a lot of Victorian missionaries) though this may change in view of the Nigerian and other conservative regions disagreeing with ECUSA (the Episcopalian Church) over blessing same-sex relationships and having gay bishops.

The head of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Rowan Williams, but the Queen is Defender of the Faith (a title originally held by Henry VIII, of all people) and she is the head of the church.
Some bishops have the right, going back to medieval times, to sit in the House of Lords, and new bishops are chosen by the Prime Minister - two names are put forward and the Prime Minister chooses between them.
This is all part of being the Established Church.

The heirarchy is very similar to the Catholic church, bearing in mind that the parish system covers the whole of England (and the priest is supposed to be priest to everyone who lives there, not just the Anglicans). So there are ranks like Archdeacon, or Rural Dean, who act like managers of areas, under the bishop.

If anyone is interested in the way Cathedral clergy work, I highly recommend the Victorian masterpiece The Warden, by Anthony Trollope.

Peggy
10-01-2006, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the info Evaine. Most of my knowledge of the Anglican church comes from murder mysteries, which is probably not the most reliable source of information (it was the Vicar in the parlor with the candlestick:)). From what you've said, it could definitely be the setting of a religious conspiracy novel.
There was a movie similar to your first example, Peggy. I believe it was called "The Body" (?) and it involved the discovery of Christ's grave and the desperation of the church leaders to keep it hidden. It was the Catholic Church in that movie, but could have as easily been Protestant..... I should have known that that wasn't an original idea!

Evaine
10-02-2006, 11:29 PM
Death in Holy Orders by PD James is quite good in a rather depressing way - an Anglican seminary in the wilds of Norfolk with priests getting bumped off on all sides.

Lolly
10-03-2006, 01:15 AM
The Anglican Communion is world-wide (thanks to a lot of Victorian missionaries) though this may change in view of the Nigerian and other conservative regions disagreeing with ECUSA (the Episcopalian Church) over blessing same-sex relationships and having gay bishops.

The head of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Rowan Williams, but the Queen is Defender of the Faith (a title originally held by Henry VIII, of all people) and she is the head of the church.
Some bishops have the right, going back to medieval times, to sit in the House of Lords, and new bishops are chosen by the Prime Minister - two names are put forward and the Prime Minister chooses between them.
This is all part of being the Established Church.

The heirarchy is very similar to the Catholic church, bearing in mind that the parish system covers the whole of England (and the priest is supposed to be priest to everyone who lives there, not just the Anglicans). So there are ranks like Archdeacon, or Rural Dean, who act like managers of areas, under the bishop.

If anyone is interested in the way Cathedral clergy work, I highly recommend the Victorian masterpiece The Warden, by Anthony Trollope.


You beat me to it! :tongue I'll add something, though. When the Church of England broke away from Rome under Henry VIII, they kept all the trappings of Catholicism. In other words, the church services were basically the same mass, the ministers wore robes like priests, they had the same hierarchical type of structure, etc. The only major difference was now the C of E had to swear allegiance to the monarch, not the Pope. I attend a Methodist church here in Britain (which in turn branched off from the C of E), and our communion services could easily pass for Catholic. So, in answer to your question, yes you could have a DVC featuring the Anglican Church--in fact, I'm considering writing a story like that.