Author Archive

An Interview with Giulio Fanti

October 19, 2014 1 comment

the resurrection as “so much more than a conjuring trick with bones”

former Anglican Bishop of Durham. Philip Davies

imageAn interview with Professor Fanti had been mentioned in the comments, with a link. It was just revised yesterday. It needs to be mentioned at the posting level, something I just realized this morning from a series of emails that I’m seeing in my inbox.  It needs to be read by everyone and I have been remiss in not featuring it. Here is some of the introduction. Click on the title to read the full paper:

Professor Giulio Fanti discusses the controversies in the realm of Shroud studies

Louis C. de Figueiredo

It is no secret that the realm of Shroud studies is a minefield. It is evident in books, websites, newsletters and blogs. Apparently the matter also reached the ears of Pope Benedict XVI, prompting him to request cooperation in a message read out to the people attending a Shroud conference in the US in 2005.

There seem to be very few signs of any change for the better. On the contrary, there has been an increase in the number of people entering the field to indulge in vicious personal attacks and character assassination, driving out qualified scholars willing to discuss the topic, in fact forcing them to leave in disgust.

Anyone who has kept abreast with the news will notice that Pope Francis can be blunt-spoken, even more than his Bavarian predecessor, and does not shrink from criticising what he judges to be wrong. At the rates things are going, whether he will pay any attention at all to petitions addressed to him regarding future tests on the Shroud will remain to be seen.

Fortunately, there are scholars and scientists who have steered clear of the infighting and favouritism and have made important contributions to the study of the Turin Shroud. Among them are American attorney, political activist and op-ed contributor John Klotz, who recently launched his meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated book The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness. Klotz asks the important question, “If indeed the Shroud is Christ’s and, if science is deciphering its revelation, what is it telling us?” It is a question that Professor Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua — who agreed to discuss the relic and granted the following interview – has been seeking to answer for the past seventeen years.

Some of Professor Fanti’s findings have been contested, particularly part of the data published in his last Shroud book which did not appear in a paper published later. In this case he leaves it to readers to judge for themselves and is working on the rest of the material he has gathered that is expected to be published in more peer-reviewed journals.

There is something that seems to indicate that there can be a tell-tale sign demonstrating not only that the Turin Shroud did indeed wrap the body of Jesus in the sepulchre but also that the Resurrection was an historical event, exactly what sceptics would like to see. It will have to be demonstrated beyond doubt that the image formation was near-instantaneous, if not instantaneous, a task that can be easily handled by both Professor Giulio Fanti and Dr. Paolo di Lazzaro, Chief of Research at ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development and Applications of Radiation.

At the time that Louis first linked to the paper, Hugh Farey commented. And this comment belongs at the posting level as well.

Thanks, Louis. So the Resurrection “had to be” not quite instantaneous because Jesus “must have taken a few seconds” to power up. Perhaps you are correct. The God I believe in does not have to take any time at all. He may have allowed himself to revive over 36 hours, individual cells reawakening in succession until he simply got up as from a bed, or he may have vanished in an instant, the space he occupied being as instantly filled with air, or left as a vacuum, or he may have exploded in a burst of radiation, which was just enough to have an effect on the Shroud. He may have caused the dead of Jerusalem to do any of the same, and then sent them all back to their graves, or he may have made the people of Jerusalem think they had seen their forebears when in fact they had remained peacefully in their ossuaries. He may have reconstituted himself instantly, and sat in the garden for the rest of the night waiting for Mary Magdalene to turn up, or he may have not reappeared until just before she arrived. Somewhere along the way he provided clothes for himself. Perhaps while he was still in the tomb, perhaps after he re-materialised.

He may have done any, all or none of these things. That’s who God is. From a scientific point of view, none of them is open to inquiry. I do not know what the Resurrection was scientifically, or how long it took. Nor does anybody else, nor does it matter. In 1984 the Anglican Bishop of Durham attempted to explain this in describing the resurrection as “so much more than a conjuring trick with bones” and a few years ago Pope Benedict showed a similar lack of enthusiasm for “the mere resussitation of a corpse.” Frankly, in the opinion of most modern theologians, all as orthodox as the Pope, the measurable, physical events of the morning of the first day of the week after the crucifixion are trivial compared to the meaning of the Resurrection and the effect it had on the disciples, whatever actually occurred.

And Louis commented back:

Hugh, I fully agree with what you said and now we are speaking the same language. I believe in the Resurrection because it had to happen, not only because it explains the growth of the Jesus movement, that became the Church, but also due to the question of existence. As I have stated more than once, even if the Shroud is “proved” to be authentic it will still not answer many questions, but this is for another article.

Meanwhile, you will be my “scientific advisor”, though you are anti-authenticity and I am in the opposite camp, but keep an open mind as the Church does. The Church also calls some qualified devil’s advocate when it comes to a canonisation process. Who knows, perhaps Rome will call you when needed!

And now. Read the entire interview.  Offer your opinion.

New Paper: The Lirey Toga

October 19, 2014 10 comments

“poets, chroniclers, knights and others who were involved tell their own stories
and, in so doing, illuminate this time in history, the Hundred Years War,
when a most extraordinary and important story [of the shroud] unfolds”

imageDavid Day writes:

I would like to draw your attention to a narrative I have recently placed online called: The Lirey Toga.

This is the result of research into my ancestors, the De Noyers, and their involvement with the Holy Shroud, later known as the Shroud of Turin, when it was in France during the Hundred Years War.

While carrying out this work many links came to light between the Holy Shroud and Joan of Arc culminating in a remarkable conclusion concerning the Holy Shroud itself.

It is interesting, well written and informative. I am reminded of Daniel Scavone’s several papers in which he argues that emerging knowledge in Western Europe about the Holy Shroud in Constantinople, the Mandylion, inspired the legends of the Holy Grail.  Some papers, I think,  to read once again on an autumn Sunday afternoon.

A you-should-get-the-point sample from about midpoint:

. . . Does Joan of Arc ever set eyes on the Holy Shroud? Therein lies a Rembrandt or
a Van Dyke painting. Reluctantly, I believe the answer has to be that she did not since such an occasion would, without doubt, have been recorded.

However, apart from such fascinating conjecture, the proximity of the Holy Shroud to Joan’s birthplace of Domrémy lingers in the mind and I begin to wonder if there are other links between the Shroud and her life. . . .

David’s paper sort of draws to a conclusion around page 40 with this:

The essential features of the Arthurian saga, containing both historical and fictional elements, have been fulfilled in the life of Joan of Arc. All have become real: Excalibur and Joan of Arc’s sword from the church of Sainte Catherine of Fierbois. There are the several Avallon links via the families associated with caring for the Holy Shroud and, especially, Joan’s riding out of Avallon on the way from Vaucouleurs to Chinon. There are the dramatic similarities between Lançelot and Alençon. There is the route of military confrontation followed by both Joan of Arc and Arthur along the Loire with both ending up in Burgundy. Furthermore, both are betrayed. What Arthur does in history and fiction, Joan of Arc does in reality. I fully believe that her realisation of Galahad makes the Holy Shroud, with which she has many links, the equivalent in her life of the Holy Grail. This being the case, since all the other main features of the Arthurian saga have been realised, the Holy Grail itself is now actualised in the form of the Holy Shroud. In other words it too becomes real. This means it is, truly, the Holy Shroud of Jesus Christ.

Okay, one might believe so. But then:

imageThis immensely holy item, the Holy Shroud, has here been identified with the Holy Grail. Is this acceptable? Does the Holy Grail itself contain information that could provide the answer to this question? Here is something interesting. What is to be found in the twelve letters that constitute the three words, The Holy Grail? One word that can be made if the letters are reconstituted is, LIREY. Among the remainder of letters a second word stands out and the letters are in the correct order. The word is, TOGA, defined, and so similar to the Shroud, as a long piece of cloth worn wrapped around the body. The Holy Grail transmutes itself into the Lirey Toga, a garment worn by a living Roman at the time of Christ. How appropriate considering Christ’s miraculous Resurrection.

Do read it. You will learn a lot about and from the . . .

poets, chroniclers, knights and others who were involved tell their own stories and, in so doing, illuminate this time in history, the Hundred Years War, when a most extraordinary and important story unfolds.

Quote for Today on Carbon Dating of the Shroud

October 18, 2014 41 comments

When it comes to the Shroud, nearly everybody wanted to carbon date the Shroud “in the worst way” and that is precisely what happened. The protocols were supposed to map the way to the truth. Instead, the truncated protocols adopted led the carbon scientists over a cliff.

imageThe quote is from John Klotz’ new book, The Coming of the Quantum Christ. Here, I’ve copy-pasted the quotation from his Quantum Christ blog, from a posting just yesterday entitled Ebola, Protocols and the Shroud of Turin.

In the worst way?  What does that mean?

Abraham Lincoln, it is said, used the expression. One story is that when he met Mary Todd, who would become his wife, he approached her and said he would like to dance with her “in the worst way.” She later recounted that he did, in fact, literally, dance in the worst way.

It’s an idiom. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “the worst way” this way:

the worst way

:  very much <such men … need indoctrination the worst way — J. G. Cozzens> —often used with in <wanted a new bicycle in the worst way>

Did they talk that way in Lincoln’s time?  Well there is this quote from ‘ Fast Life on the Modern Highway’ by Joseph Taylor, published in 1874:

Well, sir. I wanted somebody to kiss me for my mother just then, and shake hands and say good-bye in the worst way; but I could not stop!’

The use of the idiom is modern, as well. On March 23, 2011, the Houston Chronicle headlined an article, “ Air traffic control needs updating in the worst way.

Now that you are completely distracted from what John Klotz was saying, go read his blog posting, Ebola, Protocols and the Shroud of Turin.

A Significant Article by Charles Freeman in History Today

October 17, 2014 156 comments

Charles is a regular and frequent participant in this blog. He has written, The Origins of the Shroud of Turin being published in History Today (Volume: 64 Issue: 11 2014)

imageCharles Freeman, surprised by the lack of research into one of the great unsolved mysteries, reveals for the first time his groundbreaking examination into the creation of the venerated object.


When one sees the variety of depictions of the Shroud in the 16th and 17th centuries it is hard to see any other explanation for their vividness than that they were painted on the linen. . . . A study of the depictions of expositions in 1842 and 1868 suggests that serious deterioration of the images set in during the 19th century: it is symbolised by the replacement of the enormous crowds originally able to see the images from afar by the single-file observers of today’s framed Shroud within the cathedral. Each dramatised unfurling would cause the fragmentation of its painted surface, especially when one custom was for the crowds to throw rosaries at it (in the Tempesta engraving the outstretched hands of those awaiting their return can be seen).

While we are left with only the faint images of the original painting it remains an interesting question as to whether any pigments of the original paint still remain on the Shroud. The STURP team, which descended on Turin in 1978 with several tons of imaging equipment, removed a number of samples from different areas of the surface of the cloth with sticky tape, which, remarkably,  they were allowed to take back to the US for examination, without any requirement that they should be returned to Turin (they do not appear to be kept together in a single archive, hampering further research). A furious argument took place when an expert microscopist, Walter McCrone, who was given the tapes to examine, claimed that he had indeed found pigments, vermilion on the bloodstains and red ochre for the main part of the bodies. Although McCrone does not seem to have known this, vermilion is the pigment used to depict blood on other medieval painted linens, while red ochre is ubiquitous as a medieval pigment. McCrone dated the painting to the middle of the 14th century (ten years before the radiocarbon laboratories came to the same conclusion). . . .

Hat tip to Gian Marco Rinaldi

A Special Study Day: People With Different Takes on the Shroud

October 17, 2014 8 comments

imageWhat follows is a Google Translation of an announcement for a day of talks, "L’enigma della Sindone" to be held at the University of Rome on October 30, 2014.  This is being sponsored by the Chemistry Department.

Note carefully the objective of this event. Note, too, some of the names familiar to readers of this blog, like Luigi Garlaschielli, Paolo Di Lazzaro and Andrea Nicolotti, people with very different takes on the shroud.


Science and history are wondering about the mysterious Shroud of Turin

Study day with the Round Table is open

Thursday, October 30, 2014 – 8:30 to 18:00 hours

Parravano Hall, Department of Chemistry

Sapienza University of Rome

Objectives of the event

  • The event takes place before the new Exposition of the Shroud in 2015 and soon after the meeting of Bari and St. Louis dedicated to it: a look at the present thinking of the future steps.
  • Discuss the different aspects that the Shroud takes the observer assigned and not assigned.
  • Analytically examine how science and research have addressed the problem.
  • Evaluate the reflections cultural, religious, historical problem.

Information and reservations

  • The event is open to all with free admission.

  • Participation in the buffet and the purchase of the DVD with the recording of the event is € 25.00.

  • Reservations must be sent to the email sends e-mail) by Saturday, October 25, 2014.

  • The conference will be video recorded.


08:30 to 09:00
Registration for the Workshop

09:15 to 09:30
prof. Aldo Lagana, Director of Department of Chemistry
prof. Luigi Frati, Rector of Sapienza
prof. Giancarlo Ruocco, Pro Rector Research Sapienza

9:30 to 9:45
Introduction to the study day
prof. Luigi Campanella, Sapienza University of Rome, Chairman

09:45 to 10:15
The Shroud and the problem of "reproduction"
prof. Luigi Garlaschielli, University of Pavia

10:15 to 10:45
Characteristics of the Shroud image and attempts to play the photochemical
dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro, Enea, home to Frascati

10:45 to 11:00
Space for questions and short questions

11:00 to 11:30

11:30 to 12:00
The translation of the Mandylion from Edessa to Constantinople
prof. Philip Burgarella, University of Calabria

12:00 to 12:30
Shroud history and pseudo-history: gleanings of methodology
prof. Andrea Nicolotti, University of Turin

12:30 to 12:45
Space for questions and short questions

12:45 to 13:45
Lunch break by the organization

14:00 to 17:00
Open round table with four speakers: What stimuli and what prospects towards the solution of a historic dilemma.

Moderator chairman prof. Luigi Campanella

The panel discussion will be introduced by four short presentations of the speakers at the preliminary discussion.
Applications to be submitted must be made ​​in writing before the start of the afternoon session.
Each questionante has 3 minutes to explain the reasons for his request.

17:00 to 17:30

It Bears Repeating

October 17, 2014 1 comment

During a break in the St. Louis Conference, a few of us were in the back of the room sipping coffee and munching what I called Neutron Chip Cookies – that was because one of those monstrous chocolate chip cookies would rejuvenate you with all of the calories you had burned in a year of exercise.  I was talking about John Klotz’ book.

She had said, “I would like to read it but I don’t own a Kindle.”

“You don’t need to,” I said. “Amazon has apps for most tablets and smartphones. And you can read Kindles books on most laptops and desktop computers. I even have John’s book on my iPhone. See!”


That picture is real. That is my hand holding my iPhone displaying John’s book. It is not photoshopped.

Categories: Books Tags: , ,

I Call Them Shrolls

October 17, 2014 1 comment

imageAnd you thought journalists were sometimes a tad bit inaccurate. This comment appeared two days ago in a Christian News Service report: Son of Tony Campolo Comes Out as Agnostic, Hired as Humanist Chaplain at California University. The story has absolutely nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin. In the comments section no one thought to  mention the shroud.  No one even thought about it. Why would they? Then . . . out of nowhere . . . I call them Shrolls:

How did NASA going to Mars with the Mariner 10 satellite in the 1973 lead to the formation of the Shroud of Turin Research Project later in 1978? This project in 1978 would attract 38 skeptical American scientists on the team of 40 (with only two Christians), who thought they’d prove it a hoax within a week’s time, but leading to all the scientists, even a Jewish man on the team, all coming to faith in Jesus after 5 days studying the Shroud of Turin.

Categories: News & Views Tags:

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