A Quote for this Sunday

December 21, 2014 2 comments

imageFor “scientific approach to the Shroud” is usually understood that according to which the Shroud is regarded solely as an object of study and for which the only important issue is to try to answer the questions about the origin and the authenticity of the Shroud. A “pastoral approach to the Shroud” means the reading of the Shroud in the light of its intrinsic message that, starting from its close and indisputable relationship with the Holy Scriptures, becomes a valuable and unique inspirer of the life of faith and the prompter of those works of charity which are its real big fruit. In this regard at the end of his aforementioned speech in front of the Shroud on May 24, 1998 Saint John Paul II said: “May the Spirit of God, who dwells in our hearts, instill in every one the desire and generosity necessary for accepting the Shroud’s message and for making it the decisive inspiration of our lives”.

Therefore to put in antithesis the scientific approach to the religious one is very dangerous because you run the risk on one hand to reduce the Shroud to a “dead object”, to an image that has meaning only in itself and that doesn’t at all challenge our lives and on the other to turn the Shroud into a kind of idol slaved to a priori and instrumental theses. I am deeply convinced that to leave the presentation of the Shroud to a sole scientific approach or to a sole pastoral approach is neither correct nor useful for any kind of recipient. But then are these two ways of approaching the image of the Shroud really antithetic?

– Bruno Barberis
Associate Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Turin &
Director of the International Center of Sindonology of Turin
from “Shroud, Science And Faith: Dialogue Or Conflict?
a paper he recently presented at the St. Louis Shroud Conference

Shroud Exposition YouTube Channel

December 21, 2014 1 comment
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"What If?" Clips

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Giorgio Bracaglia over at the Holy Shroud Guild wants your help

December 20, 2014 12 comments

imageGiorgio is promoting the survey on the Holy Shroud Guild’s Facebook page. An email to participants reads:

I am a student at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York. I am currently collecting data for my research project entitled The reader’s cognitive response towards peer-reviewed manuscripts,to fulfill my degree program requirement in Organizational Management.  The purpose of my study is to explore the reader’s cognitive response to two manuscripts that were problematic.

I would like you to participate in this study by completing an on-line survey by January 4, 2015.  The questionnaire will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Your participation is voluntary but very important to the success of this study. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with this assignment, please feel free to discontinue.

The responses you provide are anonymous and STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.  The results of this study will be reported in the form of statistical summaries that do not identify any individual.  You must be over 18 years of age to participate. If you have any questions regarding the questionnaire, please contact me at giorgioprimary@frontiernet.net

Thank you for taking the time to assist in this important project.  I look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire.

CLICK HERE to begin the process.  Read the short (one page) essay on Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Then take the survey. After submitting your results you will be taken to another short essay and another short survey form. (There is a Shroud of Turin connection, as you will see).

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Just Published: What Went Wrong with the Radiocarbon Date?

December 19, 2014 11 comments

not arguing in this paper that the Benford-Marino-Rogers theory is THE
sole answer to our question . . . it has an awful lot going for it. . . .

imageMUST READ:  It begins with this paragraph, even before we encounter the title and authors name:

Foreword: I had requested that this paper not be published with the 2008 Ohio Conference papers because there were some questions about the nature and history of cotton I wanted to explore before doing so. However, in the interim, my attempts to investigate some issues did not produce results because I was unable to get in contact with the specialists who might have been able to provide the additional information I sought. Joe Marino recently requested permission to publish on-line my Ohio presentation and the appendices of materials I had gathered. I have granted him that permission late this year (December, 2014). The material is largely unchanged from my 2008 Ohio presentation. Bits of more recent information are set off from the body of the original text by my use of brackets [ ].

The title is What Went Wrong With the Shroud’s Radiocarbon Date? Setting it all in Context. It is by the archaeologist and long time shroud scholar Paul C. Maloney (pictured).

imageHere are the first few paragraphs just to give you a good idea why this paper is so important.

We are only two years away from a fresh exhibition of the Turin Shroud [occurring in 2010]–and with that will there be another round of testing? In this light it seems a valuable exercise to recap previous hypotheses regarding the C14 results offered in the years following the 1988 testing. (2). Professionally, I am an archaeologist–some of you might call me an “antique historian.“ This is a paper about history. What I shall attempt to do here is to gather together in one place observations and explanations that have been published elsewhere. There are many things about the Shroud we would all like to know but in this paper I shall deal largely with only one question: What went wrong with the Shroud‘s radiocarbon date? I will provide here a brief synopsis of proposed answers with focused examination of one of those proposals.

A Strange Story

But first I want to share with you a “strange story”. Many of you have already heard it. I first heard it many years ago as it was circulated by Bill Meacham. A single thread of the Shroud was sent surreptitiously to a West Coast Laboratory back in 1982. One end of that thread came up with a date of 200 A.D. while the other end resulted in a date of ca. 1000! How could this be? I thought about it long and hard and finally dismissed it as a complete fluke. Anyway, that was quite a “yarn”! Bill Meacham preserves this story in his most recent book published a few years ago. (3)

Radiocarbon test results and reactions to it

Here’s another story, also old, so much so, you are probably all tired of hearing it. Briefly, on April 21, 1988 a single sample was removed from the so-called “Raes’ Corner” on the Shroud by the late Giovanni Riggi di Numana. This was divided up between three labs, Oxford, Zurich, and Tucson, Arizona and the results analyzed by the British Museum. The analysis from that testing was released on Oct. 13, 1988: the cellulose taken from the Shroud was to be dated with 95% confidence to between 1260 to 1390 A.D. (4)

Most of us reacted first with a mixture of shock and consternation! How could this be? The late Fr. Albert R. Dreisbach liked to say that “the preponderance of evidence” argued for the antiquity as well as the authenticity of the cloth. After all, how could the Shroud have been rendered in artistry 60 some years before the first bracket of the 1260-1390 released radiocarbon date? As we all began to recover it was generally agreed that something was radically wrong. The question was “What?” There have been six major approaches to this question. Evaluative remarks and commentary have been confined to the endnotes due to time constraints.

A dozen pages in, as we approach the conclusion, we read:

When everything is properly understood, the entire picture of the Shroud should come together as a beautifully constructed puzzle. If something is out of place, the whole will not look right. We are currently still in that mode. Not everyone agrees with Ray Rogers findings. Especially in Europe there are those who believe his findings do not represent the real nature of the Shroud. Thus, this issue of “homogeneity” vs. “heterogeneity” needs to be resolved so that we can move forward. If a “re-weave” is not the explanation for the characteristics found at the Raes’ Corner then we badly need an explanation for why cotton is woven into that corner but is not demonstrated in threads in the main body of the cloth.

What does the opposite side of the ledger look like? Do the x-rays of the Shroud show any evidence of the re-weave? Bryan Walsh suggests they do not. (Personal communication). Walsh also notes that in discussions “…with textile conservators in the U. S., they said that while reweaving might be made difficult to perceive on one side of a cloth, it would be painfully obvious on the other side of the cloth because of the various threads and knots involved in stitching it.”

I’m not arguing in this paper that the Benford-Marino-Rogers theory is THE sole answer to our question “What Went Wrong?” Nevertheless, the factors I’ve marshalled here suggest that it has an awful lot going for it. . . .

There is, in Appendix III, a gem, a Dialogue between Ray Rogers and Bryan Walsh in February 2005. And elsewhere throughout the paper there are photographs that you may never have seen. This paper is a must read.

Photomicrograph note:  The caption reads:

B. Second photomicrograph of W. C. McCrone’s rose madder. STURP tape 3-CB very near to STURP tape 3-AB but taken on the blood flow across the back. (Photomicrograph by W. C. McCrone. From the Paul C. Maloney collection of McCrone illustrative materials. No magnification listed by McCrone).

Publication Note:  I received this paper a few days ago. Would I install it on the 2008 Ohio conference website since I had the keys and supposedly the skills to do so? Sure, I said. Well, if you go to the conference site and look you will see some evidence of my trying. I’m still trying to work out went wrong with hosting company.  In the meantime I have temporarily installed this paper within this blog space so you can read it without further delay. Here you need the keys and no special skills. My apologies for taking so long.

So, open or download: What Went Wrong With the Shroud’s Radiocarbon Date? Setting it all in Context by Paul C. Maloney by clicking on the title.

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating Tags:

New Paper by Pam Moon

December 18, 2014 20 comments

imagePam Moon has uploaded another paper she wrote to her Shroud of Turin Exhibition site: Bl Sebastian Valfrè: The Black Thread, Reweave, and Unravelling the Shroud. It begins:

It was an enormous privilege to attend the St Lewis Shroud conference and to meet so many of the world’s greatest Shroud experts. Can I give my congratulations to the organisers. The comments below are based on some of the conversations I had at the conference.

I am very grateful to Joe Marino for allowing me to present the Oxford photographs and Donna Campbell’s report, to Barrie Schwortz for finding the information online and to Russ Breault for recording the conference. Donna Campbell wrote: ‘there are signs in the Shroud sample that direct the notion of mending or reweaving of the actual woven fabric.’ One of the items mentioned in the presentation was the large black thread which is visible on the Oxford and Arizona samples. A comparison was made with the small black and large white threads also present.

I was delighted to discover from Emanuela Marinelli and Will Meacham that the large black thread was probably stitched in 1694 by Bl Sebastian Valfrè. The invisible reweave hypothesis of Joe Marino and Sue Benford supported by Donna Campbell may refer to two or three different episodes of stitch repair and Bl Sebastian’s repair was one episode. The best demonstration of invisible reweave (both French and in-weaving) I have seen is by the company Without a Trace and can be seen in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIgC_IeuzKE. Please look at that before continuing! The black thread also points to the possibility that the corner strands were unravelled, rewoven back together and then stitched back into place with reweaving techniques. Below is the large black thread seen in th Oxford and Arizona photographs see: https://archdams.arch.ox.ac.uk/?c=1203&k=1bcdc90a8b [|] http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/arizona.pdf. Investigating a Dated piece of the Shroud of Turin, Radiocarbon, 52, 2010.

Collimated Sweat Acting at a Distance

December 18, 2014 4 comments

That should warm the cockles of Colin Berry’s heart

imageFrom a press release this morning:

JERUSALEM.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, has announced the awarding of its 2014 Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography to American artist and photographer Lisa Oppenheim. Selected from among 160 applicants from 28 countries around the world, Oppenheim was awarded the prize for her outstanding body of existing work and prospective projects.

And one of the prospective projects is:

. . . said Noam Gal, Noel and Harriette Levine Curator of the Museum’s Department of Photography. “Her choices of subjects – including the future project she presented in her application, Imprint (Shroud of Turin) – give promise to the perpetuation of this fascinating artistic path.”

Imprint?  Shroud of Turin?  That should warm the cockles of Colin Berry’s heart. Colin is old fashioned enough and British enough to understand that expression.

Let me explain (or you can read Colin’s whole bloody post on his blog). Colin shows us the picture (below) and tells us: “The mechanism of imprinting of the body image? Can there be any doubt that the artist wanted us to know that the image was a SWEAT IMPRINT.”

Yes! There can be some doubt; for I must ask: Are Jesus followers lifting the cloth up and away from the body or putting it down over the body? If they are just getting ready to lower the cloth over Jesus, was the “imprint” caused by collimated sweat acting at a distance?

Colin writes:

Is this the definitive answer to the Shroud of Turin visible in old paintings? Answer: YES – almost certainly, as the above [=below now] paintings demonstrate, but I don’t suppose Dan Porter will be overjoyed at the use I’ve made of his website graphics.

But I am overjoyed; for I have always put pursuit of the truth about the shroud ahead of trying to convince anyone it is real. In accord with that I am NOT going to put a lot of stock into Colin’s interpretation of a 17th century artist’s artistic interpretation of events and call it definitive evidence of anything.  

Look closely. You can almost correlate the darker areas of the smudge-ish image on the cloth being held above Jesus’ body to the followers surrounding the cloth. Are those perhaps shadows?  Light seems to come from different places in this painting. 


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