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Aug. 26, 2004

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Rev. Dr. Bruce Rigdon will give the talk, "Deciphering The DaVinci Code," Thursday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free to the public, is sponsored by the Bucknell Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life and the Rooke Chapel Congregation.

Dan Brown's best-selling novel of secret societies, Roman Catholic `conspiracies' and the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ is, according to the Rev. Ian Oliver, Bucknell University Chaplain, "a good thriller but what is fact and what is clever fiction?" 

Oliver says that Rigdon, as president of Ecumenical Theological Seminary and Professor of Church History, has the background needed to help sort out issues of theology, history, and contemporary American culture.

"Dr. Rigdon brings a historical perspective to discussions of Brown's book and welcomes questions and views from the audience. His talk is entertaining as well as informative and has been enjoyed by hundreds of interested listeners around the country," said Oliver. At Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Dr. Rigdon's talk drew something like 1,700 people.

Rigdon received his bachelor of arts degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio and studied at the University of Hong Kong for a year during his undergraduate studies. He received his Master of Divinity, master of arts and doctoral degrees from Yale, where he specialized in church history and the history of theology.

He is an author, a consultant and a narrator of network television films on the Russian Orthodox Church and served as a primary contact between Eastern and Western Christians during the Cold War.

From 1965-88, he was on the faculty of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, concluding his teaching there as Professor of Church History. 

"People want to hear and talk about the great issues raised in the story which Brown has written," said Rigdon. "The talk will be part church history (sorting fact from fiction) but also includes some thoughts about why the book is so popular and what that can tell us about where Americans are religiously and culturally."


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