Risen, the Movie, Featuring the Shroud

August 29, 2015 4 comments

note the epsilon on the forehead

imageGlimpses of the shroud at about the 0:50 and 1:18 marks in this trailer for the upcoming epic movie of the first forty days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of an skeptical Roman Centurion charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate rumors of a risen messiah and find the missing body of Jesus in order to prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

Directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Tom Felton, Joseph Fiennes, Cliff Curtis, Peter Firth, Risen is scheduled for release January 22, 2016 by Sony Pictures Releasing.  TRAILER LINK  (Hat tip to David Goulet)

Hat tip to David Goulet

Categories: Movie

Is Pope Francis Walking On the Mystical Side?

August 28, 2015 7 comments

imageAnthony Faiola, writing in the Washington Post, tells us that Pope Francis embraces the mystical side of the Catholic Church:

To many, the first Latin American pope is a reformer, a man determined to lead the Catholic Church into a new age of enlightenment.Yet as Pope Francis prepares to make his first official trip to the United States, his papacy is also proving to be one of apparent contradictions. Perhaps the biggest: A pope who has become the darling of intellectuals, even atheists, is also fully embracing some of the most fervent forms of worship within the Catholic Church.

Far more than his predecessor, Francis has thrust himself into the contentious world of so-called popular devotions — including the mystical celebration of holy relics, such as the blood, bones and clothing of saints, as well as the adoration of the Virgin Mary through processions and other rites. By doing so, Vatican watchers say the pope is effectively endorsing a more ardent and mysterious brand of Catholicism that is popularly practiced — especially among the poor — in his native Latin America.

Critics, however, say the pope may be flirting with superstition. Also citing his constant mention of the devil and explicit backing of exorcisms, some say he risks undercutting his image as a 21st century moral leader in tune with the times.

“The danger is that popular devotion becomes all too important, that we seek to elevate ourselves by touching a body part or a cloth touched by a saint,” said Vito Mancuso, a Bologna, Italy-based theologian and author. “We would be moving backwards, almost to idolatry.”

The incident in Naples, where Francis caused a stir with the blood of Saint Januarius, marked only one in a long list of recent papal devotions to relics and other mysterious artifacts. In June, for instance, the pope “venerated” the Shroud of Turin, praying before the cloth believed by some to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ despite disputed tests that have carbon dated it to centuries after the crucifixion.

The pope made no official claim about the shroud’s authenticity. But his personal charity has sent at least two busloads of homeless Romans to visit the shroud, and the pope additionally taped a special video message celebrating it.

“Let us listen to what it wants to silently tell us, across death itself,” the pope says in the message. “The sole and ultimate word of God reaches us through the sacred shroud.”

On the other hand, we considered, Does Pope Francis Believe the Shroud is Real?

What is mystical?  Idolatry?  Superstition? And all this by degree?

Categories: News & Views

Congratulations, Barrie Schwortz

August 28, 2015 4 comments

More coverage of Barrie Schwortz at the Jalsa Salana UK convention

Barrie writes on the STERA Facebook page:

I am just back from England where I attended the 2015 Jalsa Salana UK convention as a guest of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This was the first time I had ever spoken at a Muslim event and it far exceeded my expectations. I was welcomed with love and respect and treated as a brother. I plan to write a detailed article about the event for our next update but wanted to give you some info in advance. Click the photo below for a World Religion News article about the event. Here is a link to the brief comments I made on the closing day to more than 10,000 people! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_VrJS1kn7c

And that probably wraps it up until Barrie does a promised summary on the next shroud.com update.

Categories: Event

You may reassure Mr. Berry

August 27, 2015 28 comments

imageIf you are relatively new to this blog, you need to know this:  When Dr. Colin Berry first entered the fray of shroud research he rather wildly characterized other researchers in offensive ways; remember, three years ago, Of Infrared Herrings and Mickey Mouse Science: Berry Criticizing Di Lazzaro?

Colin has since then cooled his rhetoric, but not completely; witness the recent back and forth of comments with Barrie Schwortz in Oy vey! We’ve got a problem? 

Knowing this explains the quoted characterizations in Paolo Di Lazzaro’s response to a question by Colin. I raised it in this blog and pointed to Colin’s blog in Have we all been looking in the wrong place?

Paolo’s response:

Dear Dan and All,

thank you for pointing out this piece, which describes amateurish attempts.

You may reassure Mr (sic) Berry that this "bunch of jokers" at Enea which is doing "MIckey Mouse science" has looked at the right place, recognizing the main photo-chemical reactions and chromophores possibly involved in the laser-coloration mechanisms, as detailed in several peer reviewed papers, notably in [Superficial and Shroud-like coloration of linen by short laser pulses in the vacuum ultraviolet*]


And… no, sorry, none of the "deductions" of Mr Berry reported in your blog are justified by his out-of-focus images shown in your blog. It is evident Mr. Berry is not trained in microscope imaging. Our students can do a better work.


Why did I insert sic in the above response?  It is Dr., not Mr. Dr. Colin Berry describes himself in one of his blogs thus:

Colin Berry, aka sciencebod, is a retired PhD researcher/teacher/academic who has worked in industry, medical schools, schools, food and biomedical research (mainly in the UK, but also in W.Africa and the United States). He’s best known for his work on RESISTANT STARCH, recently described as "the trendiest form of dietary fibre". See also his specialist Shroud of Turin blog on


Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro, a senior researcher at the ENEA Research Centre of Frascati, has posted an English language Curriculum Vitae at Academia.edu

* I inserted the title into Paolo’s email and left the URL as he had it.

Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs

YouTube of Barrie Schwortz at Ahmadiyya Annual Convention

August 26, 2015 26 comments


At YouTube:

Published on Aug 24, 2015:  Presentation given by Barrie Schwortz founder of https://www.shroud.com and a member of the team that carried out research on the Shroud in 1978. Presentation was given at The Ahmadiyya Annual Convention 2015 in Alton, Hampshire UK.

Rizwan Shabir uploaded this to YouTube and for some reason blocked embedding; so when you click on the image you will be taken to YouTube.

Categories: Video

Another article on the Jalsa Salana UK Convention

August 26, 2015 1 comment

image… warrants our attention. It is from Catholic Herald: Turin Shroud replica displayed at Ahmadiyya Muslim convention in Hampshire by Carolyn Wickware:

Barrie Schwortz, a leading expert on the Shroud, spoke at the event

More than 30,000 Muslims gathered in Hampshire this weekend to hear Barrie Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, discuss the significance of the Shroud of Turin, a Christian artefact.

The Jalsa Salana UK Convention is run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which believes the Shroud of Turin bears the image of Jesus, alive in the tomb after his crucifixion.


In the Jewish tradition, to which Mr Schwortz adheres, Jesus and his mission are completely rejected.

While most Orthodox Muslims believe Jesus was a righteous prophet, who was never crucified and, instead, ascended bodily to heaven, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes he was crucified but survived after his friends restored him to health with healing ointments and herbs.

Categories: Article

Simon Brown Video of Barrie Schwortz at Jalsa Salana UK

August 25, 2015 26 comments

Simon Brown has posted the following 36 minute YouTube entitled, Barrie Schwortz carefully confesses to the Muslim faith he believes Jesus died part 2 Q&A. It includes video of Pam Moon and Hugh Farey answering questions, as well.

The YouTube page includes this culturally insensitive description:

I Simon Brown was there and filmed Barrie Schwortz testifying this important fact and was concerned they may crucify us on the spot when they listened to Barrie Schwortz saying this that goes against their faith. Praise God we all made it back alive.


Categories: Video

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