In May of this year, Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic, wrote these blurbs, as part of a larger essay, in his Daily Dish blog. These few, extracted and collected, are something to think about as we struggle to understand the mystery of the Shroud of Turin. For me, they are keepers. They help to keep the ghosts of old catechism at bay. For those unfamiliar with Andrew Sullivan, he is British; lives and writes in the United States, mostly about politics; is somewhat conservative and is a very outspoken Roman Catholic.
. . . No modern Christian, it seems to me, can claim the literal inerrancy of the Bible without abandoning logos. No educated Christian today can deny that the scriptures we have – copies of translations of copies of copies of oral histories – are internally and collectively inconsistent, written by many authors, constructed in specific historical contexts, reflecting human biases, and supplemented by several other gospels that at the time claimed just as much authority as those gospels eventually selected by flawed men centuries later.
. . . There is no single authoritative text, written by one God, word for word true. There is a much more complicated series of writings designed by many men, doubtless under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that help us see some form of the figure Jesus through languages and texts and memories. I think the character and message of Jesus are searingly clear and distinctive even taking into account that daunting veil through which we are asked to see.
. . . So we are left in search of this Jesus with a fast-burning candle in a constantly receding cave where we know that at some point, the darkness will envelop us entirely. We will catch Him at times; He will elude us at others. We will have to listen to many words he may have spoken before we can each discern the words he may have meant; we will have to keep our eyes and ears open for science’s revelations about the world, while understanding that science is just one way of understanding the world and that poetry, history, and practical perspectives have things to tell us as well. The cathedral at Chartres; the long story of Christian debate and theology; the rituals and daily practices that help us stay trained to intuit the divine we cannot understand and the divine we do not always see in every face around us: these too tell us things that go beyond fact, archeology and hermeneutics.
Yes, this intellectual sifting is hard and troubling to faith; yes, it may end with more mystery than clarity. But if our faith is to be true, it must rest on something more than denial of reality. It must rest on being the greatest experience of reality.
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2010 – “The Face of God” is a “gripping cultural thriller,” declares the German newsmagazine “Der Spiegel.” Such praise is common for well-written mysteries, detective stories, thrillers, and other works of fiction.
This book, however, is not fiction.
In “The Face of God: The Rediscovery of the True Face of Jesus,” journalist, historian and best-selling author Paul Badde reports in tantalizing detail on his exciting quest to uncover the truth behind a rare, mysterious cloth housed in small church in the remote village of Manoppello, Italy. Better known as the Holy Face of Manoppello, this is a relic recently rediscovered and, prior to Badde’s research, thought by many to be “Veronica’s Veil” – the cloth used to wipe Jesus’ face as He carried his cross to Golgotha for crucifixion.
Badde’s research and reports on the Holy Face of Manoppello prompted a 2006 visit to the relic by Pope Benedict XVI – in spite of counsel against it by others in the Vatican. Badde compiles and expands on those dispatches in “The Face of God.”
The German newspaper Bild called the results of Badde’s work “almost beyond our imagination.”
The image of a man’s face on the cloth in Manoppello is clearly visible. Most astonishing—when the face of the Shroud of Turin is laid over the Holy Face of Manoppello, the two images form a perfect match. They are the same face.
Unlike the image on the Shroud, however, which is a “negative,” the Holy Face of Manoppello is a “positive” image on a cloth made of byssus, or sea silk, a rare and delicate fabric woven from a silky filament produced by mollusks. The fabric is so thin and delicate it is impossible to paint on.
“The Face of God” reports the conclusion by experts that the cloth of Manoppello is not Veronica’s veil, but rather a burial cloth of Jewish tradition that was laid over the face of Jesus in the tomb.
The book recounts Badde’s thrilling journey of discovery as he travels to research this remarkable relic, tracing the turbulent history of the Holy Face from ancient times to the historic visit to Manoppello by Pope Benedict XVI.
Badde is a best-selling author, renowned journalist and historian. He has been an editor of Die Welt since 2000, first as the Jerusalem correspondent and, most recently, as the Vatican correspondent in Rome. His other works include “Maria of Guadalupe: Shaper of History, Shaper of Hearts;” “Jerusalem, Jerusalem;” and “The Heavenly City.”
Ignatius Press will publish “The Face of God” in November, in hardcover, and Badde will be in the U.S. for a multi-city book tour that same month.
19 October 2010 – As part of the celebrations on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its establishment, the Israel Antiquities Authority is launching a unique project – The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library – to document the entire collection of the Dead Sea Srolls.
This remains one of the best History Channel DVDs. You can see that from the comments and the customer ratings.
There is a pretty good trailer/teaser in the History Channel Store. Be sure to click on the Video Clip tab. It runs 42 seconds.
In an ambitious application of 21st century technology to a first century wonder, the Israel Antiquities Authority and internet search giant Google announced a plan Tuesday to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and make the entire collection available to the public online.
The authority’s general director, Shuka Dorfman, called the project a milestone that will enhance the field of biblical studies and people’s understanding of Judaism and early Christianity.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Archdiocese of Turin or the Vatican released tot he public the huge 12.8 billion-pixel image of the Shroud of Turin. The image was made at the Vatican’s request:
"We have stitched together 1,600 shots, each the size of a credit card, to create a huge photo which is almost 1,300 times stronger than a picture taken with a 10 million pixel digital camera," Mauro Gavinelli, technical supervisor at HAL9000, a company specializing in art photography, told Discovery News.
In the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls, all scholarship is welcome. In the case of the Shroud, many scholars are convinced that the Archdiocese of Turin wants to control research. It’s is more of a control issue than anything else. I’m convinced of that.
This very notion certainly has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity or how the images were formed. But it may have implications for what the Shroud means to Christians and non-Christians. As posted by Kyle R. Cupp at Vox Nova:
Even within a single faith tradition, the accepted, “orthodox” symbols, figures, and images will have a degree of incompatibility due to all figurative language having creative and productive aspects. For example, the Christian conception of evil as a stain or blemish that the cleansing waters of baptism remove envisions evil as a kind of thing, as something with being, and yet, in the same tradition, evil is also considered as a privation, as a lack of a good that ought to be there, as not a thing at all, as not having any being. These two conceptions of evil aren’t entirely compatible, and yet both are very much at home in the same faith tradition.
What can we conclude from this? Ultimately what we know about evil, or anything else that we use figurative language to conceptualize, cannot be made into a single, coherent, all-encompassing conception. It’s truth is not one, but many, at least in so far as we have its truth figuratively in mind.
It amazes me; every year or so, we hear how someone has finally figured out how the Shroud of Turin was faked and that last year’s explanation was all wrong. The latest, from Luigi Garlaschelli, more convolutedly complex than Rube Goldberg scratching his ass, was accepted as a paper in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Imaging Science and Technology. In the same issue another peer-reviewed paper by no less than six scientists explained how profoundly wrong Garlaschelli was. Proponents of authenticity have done no better.
Why does all this remind me of a certain elementary school science fair project. A student had built a papier-mâché mountain with a jelly jar stuck in the top. He filled the jar with baking soda and poured in some vinegar. His poster, drenched with explosive goop, read, “Volcanoes happen when acid seeps into sodium bicarbonate deposits in mountains.”
Skeptics and believers alike are intent on making something that looks like the image on the shroud so they can say this is how the image was formed.
Divine Remedy is an excellent blog. It forces us to think. From today’s post:
The Shroud, unlike anything else, is the manifestation of the fusion of the external and internal search engines. It mysteriously lures us towards its vortex-like pathway to God. No human mind in our world has been able to crack the code and access all the necessary information about how the image was formed or how it could be reproduced. The Shroud helps us to appreciate the layers upon layers of complexity and simplicity of our cosmos and the omniscience of God.
When we take everything we know, of Christ’s life, of the Gospels, of the Bible, of the sciences, of religion, of history, of physics we fall down the rabbit hole into the image on the Shroud, searching for God through the light of the Resurrection of Christ.
Read some of the other posts. They are very thought provoking.
Very well done. Highly recommended. Less than 5 minutes:
Kimberly Winston in The Washington Post’s On Faith section:
It was a different kind of religious message than Colbert typically delivers on Comedy Central’s "The Colbert Report," where he often pokes fun at religion – even his own Catholic Church – in pursuit of a laugh. Yet it was the kind of serious faith that some of his fellow Catholics say makes him a serious, covert and potent evangelist for their faith.
. . . . Colbert has said that he attends church, observes Lent and teaches Sunday school. "I love my church, and I’m a Catholic who was raised by intellectuals, who were very devout," he told Time Out magazine. "I was raised to believe that you could question the church and still be a Catholic."
. . . . The Rev. Kurt C. Wiesner, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Littleton, N.H., writes a blog about religion and popular culture. Watching Colbert’s congressional testimony, he saw something that reaches beyond Catholicism.
"He offered a human witness, without a doubt," Wiesner said. "He gave witness to what Christians are often called to do, but the message isn’t be a Christian like him. It is that one’s faith calls us to be engaged with our fellow human beings."
It is worth reading. Stephen Colbert may play religion for laughs, but his thoughtful Catholicism still shows through (syndicated, Religion News Network)
Apparently, there was some confusion about my comment that I’m from Missouri, the ‘Show Me’ state. So what did I mean in reference to the suggestion from Chidambaram Ramesh that the Shroud of Turin image might be a hologram or that something called Quantum Holography is real or has anything to do with the Shroud?
This is from the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1979-1980, page 1486:
There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri’s sobriquet "Show-Me" state. The slogan is not official, but is common throughout the state and is used on Missouri license plates.
The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."
. . .
Other versions of the "Show-Me" legend place the slogan’s origin in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. There, the phrase was first employed as a term of ridicule and reproach. A miner’s strike had been in progress for some time in the mid-1890s, and a number of miners from the lead districts of southwest Missouri had been imported to take the places of the strikers. The Joplin miners were unfamiliar with Colorado mining methods and required frequent instructions. Pit bosses began saying, "That man is from Missouri. You’ll have to show him."
However the slogan originated, it has since passed into a different meaning entirely, and is now used to indicate the stalwart, conservative, noncredulous character of Missourians
I have doubts. Telling me won’t suffice. You will need to present me with clear evidence.
A search widget has been added for searching this blog. For instance, if you enter “Garlaschelli” in the box and click on search it will display all the postings that mention him. You have to scroll down to read them.
If you don’t know how to spell “Garlaschelli” you can put in something like “Italian scientist.” At least you will find some postings with his name and you can copy his name and paste it into the search box.
It is not Google but it helps.
This story started going around the blogosphere this morning. It seems that some grammar checking or spell checking software changed “shroud of objectivity” to what got posted below And, of course, many, many people copied it without reading.
The fact that NPR felt obliged to put Stewart’s rally off limits to its staff but didn’t feel it necessary to issue such an order for Glenn Beck’s rally does obviously raise the presumption that NPR staffers would be interested in the former and not the later — ergo, NPR staffers are liberally inclined. (I have no problem with that, only that it is masked under NPR’s Shroud of
TurinObjectivity.) Shepard merely repeats and accepts the company line without real discussion of it. She doesn’t deal with the journalistic questions I raised, only repeats the cant of freshman journalism seminars about objectivity:
These posts don’t dry up. They just surface over and over and over thanks to Google. For the lack of editing whole theories might develop.
In a side room in the Chapel of the Holy Relics is another fascinating sight: a full-sized, exact replica of the Shroud of Turin. It is stretched out on the wall at eye level and well-lit, providing a rare opportunity to inspect the famous relic up close. In the corner of the room stands a gory statue of Jesus that was designed based on the portrait in the Shroud.
A reader writes:
Are you stupid? Why are you posting this stuff. Quantum holograms? The belief that organisms are a form of hologram which is part of a universal hologram for all of space and time. Just ask anyone who was kidnapped and taken aboard an alien space ship. They will tell you all about it.
I think I made my point. I’m from Missouri. Show me. Until then I am suspicious about Petrus Soons’ 3D work on the Shroud of Turin and I am dubious, more than you can imagine, about quantum holograms. But I’m also in the business of telling people to keep an open mind. I’ll look at his book. Then I’ll say more.
Why am I posting this stuff? Chidambaram Ramesh is a “Guinness World Record holder for having had the largest number of letters to the editor published in a single national newspaper in a year.” Whi is is counting? We will hear plenty from him if he is such a letter writer. It is better to not simply react after the fact. He wrote to me in a public sort of way through comments. I posted his reply. Now it is being discussed.
Chidambaram Ramesh comments from India. According to Self Publishing Review:
Chidambaram Ramesh is a freelance researcher, writer and social activist. He is currently working to re-discover and restore many forgotten ancient and medieval sciences by eliciting their importance for contemporary science. His first book entitled “The Shroud of Turin: An imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram” proposes for the first time quantum holographic idea to explain the causes of mysterious image on the Turin Shroud. His next book is on Clairvoyance (Anjanam-Gazing) and quantum holographic connections. He is a Guinness World Record holder for having had the largest number of letters to the editor published in a single national newspaper in a year.
Dr.Petrus Soons has been kind enough to send me a lenticular and 3-D image of the Shroud. My discussions with him through e-mails convince me that the 3-Dimensional image made by him is a photographic creation.
Why? Can you share with us why you are convinced? I would not, of course, ask you to betray a confidence, but there are a lot people who are not convinced. And I’m from Missouri, the Show Me state:
Still, I must make a point here. There have been theories that the Shroud image itself formed out a quantum hologram (analogous to what Dr.Johnson described as a Man transparent to the environment)! My ensuing book “The Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram” (proposed to be released in a fortnight) proposes that the Shroud image is indeed an imprint of the Quantum Self. It is not a mere theory. A plethora of concrete evidences has been drawn from the ancient alchemical science of palingenesis (that is resuscitating 3-D spectral plants from their ashes) and natural magic (showing house full of snake images in 3-D). The theory is simple but sound: Bio-matters of all organisms, even if consumed to ashes, retain the selfsame form and figure of the parent organism. The science behind such extraordinary quality is quantum holography. Each part of the body molecule or cell may encode information for the whole body .This fact has been successfully proven by various experiments in cloning by reconstructing the whole body from a single cell. These subtle holographic energy fields or patterns are the templates or blueprints for the physical body to guide its growth and development.
I’m from Missouri.
Dr. Benford, (also a Shroud researcher who discovered the French weave patch which misrepresented the Shroud in the C-14 dating results) in her paper, “Empirical Evidence Supporting Macro-Scale Quantum Holography in Non-Local Effects”, attributes the reason to quantum hologram as follows:
‘One theory is that the test object contains a complete quantum hologram that can affect optical systems and, under the right conditions produce a holographic-like image. To make a hologram, two optical waves are needed: a reference wave and an object wave. These two waves make a 3D holographic image by creating an interference pattern frozen in space-time. Both waves are spatially and temporally coherent at the moment of creation, then separated. The object wave is directed towards the object and it experiences intensity changes and phase-shifts. Normal 2D photographs record only the intensity changes of the object wave and not the phase-shifts. However, when a reference wave is directed back towards the emitted object wave, an interference pattern is created, that records the phase-shifts of the object wave relating to the reference wave. These phase-shifts are what produce the apparent freezing in space-time of the object’s 3D image.’
Thus the quantum science will explain the centuries-old mysteries wrapping the Turin Shroud soon.
I look forward to reading and perhaps reviewing your book. And, remember, I’m from Missouri.
It is an interesting thought by the late Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama. From: No Handle on the Cross
Chronology cannot contain the event of resurrection as paper cannot contain fire. The New Testament does not describe how Jesus was raised. The resurrection of Jesus Christ must be a new experience for time!…Time must stop, for it does not know how to behave at this great mystery…The risen Lord means, then, the coming of the new time, the new order, the new covenant, and the new humanity. The risen mind is the mind…captivated by the presence of the new quality of time within this history of ours. It is, then, an extremely unusual mind which sees time in the light of Jesus Christ crucified and risen. It is the mind of faith. It works with the discernment of faith and sees what is not visible and believes what is impossible.
I like the metaphoric interpretation of this. I’m not sure there is any basis for a literal interpretation. If so, then how was the image formed? No transforming process can take place in the absence of time.
Hat tip: Is God Anonymous?: Chronology
I’ll reserve judgment until I read what Stephen Jones tells us in one of his other blogs:
And although I haven’t yet posted a message with the subject: "The Shroud of Turin: Proof that Christianity is true and Naturalism is false!" on my The Shroud of Turin blog, I intend to do so.
I’m not convinced that such proofs are possible. But, let’s see.
You really need to read the entire posting. He does an excellent job of definitions. Particularly read his What I believe about Creation, Evolution and Design section. I’m impressed. We are not in the same camp in many things, but I’m impressed with the thought and organization that has gone into Jone’s thinking. So click on over to CreationEvolutionDesign: Messianic prophecy: Proof that Christianity is true!: Introduction.
Can civilization survive without God? Do watch the video. It is quite good. I have a great deal of respect for Christopher even though I pretty much disagree with most of what he has to say.
Amy Davidson, a senior editor at the New Yorker magazine:
What came through the tube kept them fed, but what sustained them, and humbled everyone else, was the way they worked together, sang together, kept faith together. There were worries that it could turn into “The Lord of the Flies” down there; instead, it was more like a shining city deep beneath a hill. (Gomez, who set up a makeshift chapel, was the latter-day John Winthrop—whose own most famous sermon was given on a ship.) When the news came that the miners were arguing about who would wait to go up last, it was hard not to come undone.
Evidence of God, evidence of the Resurrection: seen far more clearly in the men of the mine than in a scientific explanation of images on the Shroud.