Blind Spot? Weber’s Concept of Expertise and the Perplexing Case of China
This chapter analyses the Church's efforts in opposing The Da Vinci Code as a concerted bid to reinforce the ideological bulwark surrounding millennia-old structures of episcopal governance. It postulates that it was Church leaders sensing a challenge to Roman Catholicism's traditional manner of organizing and exercising power in the form of depersonalized office charisma that provoked the criticisms they mounted worldwide against The Da Vinci Code. Weber's discussion of models for the institutionalization of legitimate power speaks directly to the contingency of outcomes for religions founded upon charismatic authority. In early 2005 Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a former high Vatican official, urged Catholics to shun the novel like rotten food and branded the bestseller 'a sack full of lies' insulting the Christian faith. For Weber, the Catholic Church provided a paradigmatic example of the rise of a bureaucracy to the position of an all-powerful authority.