More than fifty books debunking the religious claims of The Da Vinci Code have been published. This is the first book devoted to the fundamentally more interesting question: if those claims are so unfounded and erroneous, why have they resonated so strongly with millions of intelligent readers and filmgoers? From the sexual abuse scandal that shook the foundations of the Catholic Church to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that cast a cloud over a troubled nation, Eric Plumer’s The Catholic Church and American Culture: Why the Claims of the DaVinci Code Struck a Chord investigates the contemporary events, ideas, and movements that fostered Dan Brown’s unprecedented dominance of best-seller lists and dinner-table conversation. This ambitious book considers the feminist movement, radical individualism, twelve-step programs, the authority of science and psychology, and other cultural developments that paved the way for The Da Vinci Code craze. It also reflects on the recent publication of the Gnostic Gospels, including the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Plumer’s engaging book is sure to stimulate further discussion about the role of religion in contemporary life.