Angels & Demons is set in the backdrop of conflict between religion and science, specifically between the Vatican and the Brotherhood of the Illuminati. Just like ‘The Da Vinci Code’ centered around the works of Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci and his role in the secret society – The Priory of Sion, Angels and Demons focuses on the scientific works of Galileo Galilee and his role in the Brotherhood of the Illuminati.

The Protagonist

Dan Brown intended that we get to know his protagonist through this story, but the majority of us were introduced to him through ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Robert Langdon – middle-aged professor of Religious Iconology at Harvard University is a suitable hero with a few quirks of his own to make him believable – claustrophobic, always sporting a Mickey Mouse watch and an art and architecture enthusiast; intrepid (more often than not) nevertheless, and an ace swimmer and aptly nicknamed ‘dolphin’ by his friends.

Langdon is recruited by both the opposing forces in the story – CERN (representing the bastion of science) and the Vatican (representing religion) to avert a disaster that is being played out in Vatican City on the eve of the Conclave (election of the new Pope)

Religion versus Science

The genesis of the duel between the Vatican and the Illuminati is explained through the course of the novel by Langdon.

The Illuminati’s immediate reaction was to respond in kind with acts of violence but they were dissuaded by the scientist Galileo Galilee. the Illuminati rubbed shoulders with other groups of people that were escaping persecution at the hands of the Church. Re-emergence of the Illuminati Operating under the radar. Galileo was a devout catholic scientist. 1500 CE. and ultimately emerging as a single-most potent threat to the Church. This acceptance of religion makes him a target of the Illuminati. but even as a young organisation they were persecuted by the church. Galileo was arrested and subsequently four Illuminati members were captured. The Illuminati Plot The Illuminati steal ‘Anti-matter’ from CERN and murder one of CERN’s most brilliant minds – Theo-physicist Leonardo Vetra. They adopted the name – the Illuminati or the learned ones. Vetra himself is a priest and a scientist and his life’s work focuses on reconciling science with religion. The Illuminati evolved into a new type of organisation over the centuries. Though the Illuminati had evolved. and instead of using power and influence behind the scenes to be effective the Illuminati seem to have resorted to terrorism and assassination. Learned professionals (physicists. Eventually the Illuminati were pushed deeper underground. and they swore vengeance. and at the very least saw common ground between religion and science. . astronomers. branded with crosses and killed when the refused to give up the rest of the group. But his theory that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way as proposed by the church drew that wrath of the clergy.Rome. they never forgot the persecution of the four scientists at the hands of the Church. mathematicians etc. tortured. Leonardo Vetra’s motives are similar to Galileo’s. Their means of operating had changed suddenly. gaining wealth and influence.) began to take a stand against the Church’s position on truth by meeting in secret and voicing their concerns among fellow scholars.

where is slowly counts down to a ‘detonation’ that will flatten the entire city and its occupants – the cardinals at the Conclave. assumes that the cardinals will be murdered at the altars of science. They plan to apprehend the Illuminati assassin at the very place he promised to kill the first cardinal. The Clue at the First Altar of Science Langdon and Vetra uncover the first clue in the Vatican archives in Galileo’s Diagramma Della Verita.The stolen ‘Anti-matter’ is placed deep inside the Vatican. Conversely it aimed to keep the lair hidden from everyone un-scientific. . the four most popular contenders for the position of the new Pope are kidnapped. The first clue is a poem written by suspected Illuminatus John Milton along the pages of the Diagramma. the daughter of murdered scientist Leonardo Vetra. Diagramma is written in English which was considered the pure language because the clergy never used it. Additionally. and extract information on the location of the Antimatter. The Mission Robert Langdon teams up with scientist Vittoria Vetra. starting with Galileo. and thus keep the lair location a closely guarded secret. the motive behind the exercise at the time being to lead only the most finely tuned scientific minds to the Illuminati lair. specifically the Church. as supported by clues given by the assassin during a telephone call. The clues are laid out by Illuminatus. The Illuminati informs the Vatican of the ‘Antimatter’ and the kidnapped cardinals who are to be executed on the hour every hour before the detonation of the ‘Anti-matter’. The altars of science are famous locations in Rome which contain clues finally leading up to the Illuminati lair. Langdon’s theory. and thus gave the Illuminati the best chances of keeping their work hidden.

This logo was kept under wraps destined to be revealed to the world only when the Illuminati were powerful enough to carry out their final plans. Let angels guide you on your lofty quest. with the title designed to read ‘Angels & Demons’ even upside-down. the sacred test. Inside the book the Illuminati use ambigrams for their name and the four elements as known to renaissance scientists – namely earth. THE ILLUMINATI ACCORDING TO DAN BROWN The secret society that is the Brotherhood of the Illuminati as Dan Brown wants us to understand it is explained in bits and pieces throughout the book by Robert Langdon. . air. fire and water.From Santi’s earthly tomb with Demon’s hole. The path of light is laid. The Illuminati ambigram logo was anonymously created by an Illuminatus out of respect for Galileo’s fondness of symmetry. An early edition of the book featured the cover design as an ambigram. ‘Cross Rome the mystic elements unfold. AMBIGRAMS An ambigram is a word or design which looks the same when turned over.

The group of scientists feared the Church’s monopoly on ‘truth’. The Illuminati remained at odds with the Church and were relentlessly hunted down and persecuted. His scientific views were not entirely at odds with religion and he considered this a way around their problem. As their numbers grew their views varied and some members wanted to respond to the Church’s violence in kind. Eventually the established themselves again but as a different organisation. and the strategy of ‘hiding in plain sight’ became policy for the Illuminati. These other members were tortured into giving up the secret lair or the Church of Illumination. Other opponents of the Church aped the Illuminati. with other people who were also at odds with the Church. Their ultimate goal was to establish a New World Order. Their headquarters were established right under the Church’s nose in Rome itself. along with four other members. The events threw the Illuminati into disarray. The Illuminati feared that superstitious dogma as put forth by the Church was a threat to mankind. Their dead bodies were publically displayed as a warning to other members. Consequently they gained notoriety which attracted brilliant minds from all over the European continent. and the influence they gained in financial. Meanwhile the Illuminati infiltrated another secret society – the Freemasons. and they fled Rome to regroup. which religion seemed to dominate.Langdon traces the origins of the Illuminati to Rome in the 1500s when a group of scientists decide to fight back in the age old battle of religion versus science. carrying out rites and rituals that the Church accused the Illuminati of and thereby giving rise to modern Satanism as we know it. which drove them further underground. and were branded with crosses on their bodies but still didn’t reveal the hideout. and would lead to a dark ignorant future. They were convinced otherwise by Galileo who was an Illuminatus and a catholic. and decided that the first step to fight back was to organize. Their secret base was called the Church of Illumination. Unfortunately the Church didn’t agree with Galileo and imprisoned him. As a clandestine group within a secret society the Illuminati amassed influence within the masons for their own purposes. educational and commercial establishments was . They called themselves the ‘enlightened ones’ or the Illuminati.

Over the years the Illuminati’s method of operation took form. Their wealth was rumoured to include a large and flawless diamond nicknamed the Illuminati Diamond. When the Illuminati killed. American currency is filled with Illuminati symbols like pyramids. Infiltrating elite and powerful organisations was their favoured method. The name – Lucifer translates to Illuminator but the Church claimed it was a reference to the devil. and adhering to a moral code. as they preferred to wield power through wealth and influence.a means to an end. holding men of intellect and science in high esteem. They operated from behind the scenes but always from positions of strength. . Nevertheless. According to Langdon. that’s why Langdon doubts the seriousness of the threat when it first manifests in the story. they preferred to use subtle but wide reaching methods to achieve their goals. they did so with the utmost discretion by carefully selecting their targets. However over the last several hundred years there has been no proof of the Illuminati being in existence. To that purpose the Illuminati put forth their Luciferian Doctrine. eyes inside triangles and a phrase that translates to ‘New Secular Order’.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful