Below is a who's-who guide to major authors, experts, and sources related to The Da Vinci Code, including those whose ideas were used as a source by Dan Brown as well as those who have published comments or entire books related (directly or indirectly) to The Da Vinci Code.
Note that the expertise and credentials of the authors listed here vary widely. Note also that Dan Brown tends to use the words "scholar" and "academic" very loosely - the vast majority of sources he refers to with those terms are "independent researchers" or conspiracy theorists who are neither scholars nor academics.
Diane Apostolos-Cappadona (CV) Professor of Art and Culture at Georgetown University. Expert of religious art, sacred themes and religious symbolism. Has given seminars and lectures related to the "symbology" of The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and the images of Mary Magdalene in Christian art and cultural history. Publications include: In Search of Mary Magdalene: Images and Traditions (2002); Dictionary of Women in Religious Art (1998); Art as Religious Studies (2001), and others.
Michael Baigent (Wiki) New Zealander raised Catholic. Studied comparative religion; has BA in psychology. Sued Dan Brown for plagiarism. One of three authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982). Believes in the Priory of Sion, Leonardo da Vinci's codes, the marriage of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the bloodline theory of the Merovingian kings. Editor of Freemasonry Today since 2001.
Dan Brown (website)
Musician, English teacher, creative writer. Author of the fictional novel The Da Vinci Code, Brown insists all his novel's factual statements are correct and he is personally convinced by the theories it contains. He also wrote Angels & Demons, Digital Fortress and Deception Point.
See About Dan Brown for more information.
Bart Ehrman (CV) PhD from Princeton; specialist in early Christian history; professor at UNC-Chapel Hill . Among Ehrman's many publications are the books Lost Scriptures, Lost Christianities, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene. Ehrman is the author of Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code and he was interviewed for Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code.
Robin Griffith-Jones (website) "Master of the Temple" of London's Temple Church and former chaplain at Lincoln College, Oxford. Griffith-Jones gives regular talks on The Da Vinci Code at the Temple Church; he is the author of The Da Vinci Code and the Secrets of the Temple; and he has recorded a presentation on The Da Vinci Code for Beliefnet (online video here).
Karen King (CV) PhD in Early Christianity from Brown University. Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School. Expert in early Christian history, Gnosticism, and women's studies. Author of The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, What is Gnosticism?, Revelation of the Unknowable God, Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism (ed); and Women and Goddess Traditions in Antiquity and Today (ed).
Richard Leigh (website) Novelist and writer. PhD from State Univ of NY Stony Brook, specialty unknown. Sued Dan Brown for plagiarism. One of three authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982). Believes in the Priory of Sion, Leonardo da Vinci's codes, the marriage of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the bloodline theory of the Merovingian kings.
Henry Lincoln (Wiki) Scriptwriter and author. Wrote episodes of Dr. Who and co-wrote a horror film . One of three authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982). Believes in the Priory of Sion, Leonardo da Vinci's codes, the marriage of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the bloodline theory of the Merovingian kings. Wrote and presented the four episode TV-series The Secret of the Templars (1994) on Rennes le Château and 15 medieval churches at Bornholm. Co-wrote The Templar's Secret Island (2000).
Sandra Miesel (Wiki; interview) Catholic medievalist and author. Masters degrees in biochemistry and medieval history, U of Illinois. Regular writer for Crisis magazine and speaker . Co-author with Carl Olson of The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code (2004). Also author of a couple science fiction novels and Myth, Symbol, and Religion in The Lord of the Rings (1973).
Carl Olson Former Protestant and artist, now Catholic author and apologist. Master's of Theological Studies from U of Dallas (website). Co-author with Sandra Miesel of The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code (2004). Previously author of Will Catholics Be Left Behind? A Catholic Critique of the Rapture and Today's Prophecy Preachers (2003) and various articles.
Elaine Pagels (Wiki) PhD from Harvard. Part of the team that first studied the Nag Hammadi Library. Professor at Princeton, expert on Gnostic writings, feminist . Author of The Gnostic Gospels(1979), an award-winning introduction to the contents of the Nag Hammadi Library. Also author of Beyond Belief: The Gospel of Thomas (2003), The Gnostic Paul (1992), The Origin of Satan (1987), and Adam, Eve and the Serpent.
Lynn Picknett (Wiki) London conspiracy theorist and researcher on the paranormal. Co-author with Clive Prince of The Templar Revelation (1997), which is one of the main sources for The Da Vinci Code. Also co-authored with Prince: The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? (which asserts the shroud is a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci) and Stargate Conspiracy: The Truth about Extraterrestrial Life and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt.
Clive Prince London conspiracy theorist and researcher on the paranormal.Co-author with Lynn Picknett of The Templar Revelation (1997), which is one of the main sources for The Da Vinci Code. Also co-authored with Picknett: The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? (which asserts the shroud is a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci) and Stargate Conspiracy: The Truth about Extraterrestrial Life and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt.
Margaret Starbird (website) Self-described as a "Roman Catholic scholar and theologian" who was initially shocked by the Jesus-bloodline theory, then embraced it after research. Credentials unknown. Has published numerous works focusing on women and early Christianity, including The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail (1993), Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile (2005), The Goddess in the Gospels (1998). Her ideas were a major source for The Da Vinci Code and she has appeared on several TV specials about the book. Teaches that "sacred union was originally at the heart of the Christian Gospels."
Amy Welborn (website; blog) BA in Honors History from U of Tennessee, MA in Church History from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Full-time Catholic writer. Author of De-Coding Da Vinci (2004), De-Coding Mary Magdalene, Here. Now. A Catholic Guide to the Good Life, and numerous pamphlets for Catholic teens in a "Prove It!" series.