Hints About Shroud of Turin Episode in CNN Series

February 28, 2015 33 comments

My hope certainly is that it will help educate people.

Today, just a day before it premiers, we learn from the Christian Post, that a ‘Finding Jesus’ Expert Says CNN Series Will Investigate Shroud of Turin; Admits Skepticism:

Mark Goodacre, [pictured, right] who’s the professor of New Testament and Christian Origins in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University, is a featured expert on the series. He said recently that ultimately, viewers will have to decide whether to accept the findings as fact or opinion.

"Well, I think [the series] is going to be elements of fact and opinion," Goodacre told The Christian Post on Friday. "Take Sunday’s episode, which focuses on the Shroud of Turin; there’s been a huge debate about the authenticity of the shroud over the last hundred years. Some people are convinced that it’s the real deal, I’m personally skeptical about its authenticity. I think that it’s much more likely to be a medieval forgery, but even then, I think it’s still fascinating as an artifact from the middle ages."

Other expert commentary will be featured from the likes of Ivy League academics from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Oxford universities who will provide theological insight. They include Erwin MacManus, senior pastor of MOSAIC Los Angeles, and Rev. Paul Raushenbush, executive religion editor of The Huffington Post, among others.

Award-winning journalist and filmmaker David Gibson, who co-authored Finding Jesus along with Michael Mckinley, the book that inspired the CNN series, will also be featured.

"My hope certainly is that it will help educate people. The best kind of education is when you get people asking questions," said Goodacre. "You get people engaging with the subject matter and they think, ‘that’s interesting, I want to know more about that,’ and they go and explore a bit more for themselves. I teach this stuff for a living, and I think the best kind of teaching is the one that gets people asking questions."

The lesser known aspect, that of the intrinsic characteristics of the Cloth

February 27, 2015 4 comments

imageThe Italian language daily L’Indro has an article, which according to Google Translation, is headlined, The Shroud and uses Jewish funeral.

You get the idea. It begins:

The Shroud of Turin is a relic certainly unique: because in general, understandably, tend to focus primarily on the image that is imprinted, we will try here to give an account of a lesser known aspect, that of the intrinsic characteristics of the Cloth in the uses Jewish funeral.

You get the idea.  Here is a LINK to a Googlized Translation into English of this very interesting article.

Categories: History Tags:

Special Absolution During 2015 Shroud of Turin Exposition

February 27, 2015 2 comments

imageCindy Wooden writing for the Catholic News Service reports that During Turin Shroud display, archbishop offers absolution to women who have had abortions:

With the aim of ensuring that the public display of the Shroud of Turin promotes conversion and healing, the archbishop of Turin has given priests throughout the archdiocese special faculties to offer absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion.

The display of the shroud from April 19 – June 24 should be “a time of grace that translates into attitudes of conversion, the fruit of repentance and newness of life,” Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia wrote in a decree signed February 18, Ash Wednesday.

[…]

However, he said, the permission granted to priests is limited to the time of the shroud’s public display so as not to “diminish the rigour of the law,” which aims to teach people how seriously wrong it is to kill an innocent life.

Categories: 2015 Tags:

Cognitive Response to Thermochimica Acta Paper

February 26, 2015 67 comments

clip_image001We learn over at the Holy Shroud Guild website that Giorgio Bracaglia has just uploaded an interesting research  paper to Academia.edu:  The Reader’s Cognitive Response toward Two Problematic Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts

From the abstract we learn:

This research explores two populations’ cognitive responses towards two peer reviewed manuscripts. In both manuscripts, experts in the field criticize the text, and conclude them unfit for publication. To examine participants’ feelings relative to the critic’s report, a survey was created that deliberately opposes the manuscript’s legitimacy, and accepts the critic’s assertion. Two populations were surveyed on two distinct subjects. The subjects ranged from the radiocarbon testing of the Shroud of Turin defying the results performed by three distinguished laboratories, to the dangers of Glyphosate (Roundup) for human consumption. The first group was specifically targeted based on their expertise on the Shroud of Turin. The second group was randomly selected, and has no known level of expertise on either of the two topics.

Jumping right away, as I often do, to the conclusion, I find this:

Rogers work is immeasurable in the Shroud s scientific community. The intent to use Rogers manuscript was not to discredit Rogers thesis, but to offer why division existed between two factions about its rank.

The one peer reviewed manuscript we care about:

Thermochimica Acta, by Raymond Rogers is a manuscript about the Shroud of Turin. Rogers was a chemist who was considered by his peers to be an expert in thermal analysis. In 2005, his writing challenged the radiocarbon dating result performed in 1988 stating the Shroud’s origin was between 1260-1390 AD. Rogers was no stranger to the Shroud of Turin. He was the co-founder of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), which was a group of American scientists that performed an investigation of the Shroud in 1978. In 1981, STURP’s official statement reported that the Shroud is not a product of an artist but is a form of a scourged crucified man. In the Christian community, this was wonderful news. However, the exhilaration did not last long when three laboratories, University of Arizona, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and Oxford University in 1988 announced that the radiocarbon measurements dated the Shroud’s origin between 1260-1390 AD. These findings prompted strong reactions from Sindonologists who refuted the laboratories claim. Sindonologists are a group of specialized scientists or researchers that studies the Shroud of Turin.

In 2000, Rogers received reports from long time Sindonologist researchers, Joe Marino and Sue Bedford. They hypothesized that the radiocarbon dating was not from threads excised from the main body of the Shroud, but rather from a location contaminated with dye cotton used in the restoration of the Shroud.

Remember: this is not a study of Rogers’ manuscript (or the other paper) but The Reader’s Cognitive Response toward Two Problematic Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts. The paper should be read in its entirety.

Even though both manuscripts faced strong opposition from their contemporaries, both manuscripts had a broad support amongst their followers. The broad support might be attributed to confirmation bias. Nickerson (1998) explained that confirmation bias“gives undue weight to, evidence that supports one’s position while neglecting to gather or discounting, evidence that would tell against it” (p.175).

Giorgio has summarized the “strong opposition from … contemporaries” to Rogers’ paper for us. Here are some pieces of that.

Example 1:

Rogers’ manuscript successfully established ownership for the threads; however, what Rogers failed to offer was the chronological documentation pertaining to the threads. It is possible Rogers familiarity with the threads made him lax in procuring the proper protocol producing the chain of custody.

Example 2:

Gonella then said that he had reason to believe that some or all of Raes’ samples had been switched with materials not originally from the Shroud. (Personal archive collection of the Holy Shroud Guild, Nitowski, 1986)

Example 3:

Manuscript validity depends on the author and reviewer’s ability to ensure the accuracy of the final manuscript. People are all guilty of confirmation bias…. Social bias also threatens the peer review process. Reviewers can be influenced by the perceived status of the researcher’s reputation in their particular field, rather than the actual content of the manuscript. In the case of Rogers, he served on the editorial board of Thermochimica Acta from 1970 until his retirement, in 1988….

And so what did the conclusion say?

… These observations may have indicated that participant’s cognitive responses towards these two problematic peer reviewed manuscripts appear to be dependent on the participant’s predetermined experience and inferences on the subject….

Confirming what I thought! (I couldn’t resist).

After all, that was what the study was about.  But the criticisms of Rogers and his paper remain, wanting to be examined more, refuted hopefully and dismissed. Yes, I seem to be biased. I know that.

CNN is Laying It On Thick

February 25, 2015 4 comments

An article, Five things you didn’t know about Jesus by The Rev. James Martin in a special to CNN, was posted today on CNN’s website.  This picture below is from the video that accompanies the article. Links to the article appear in a sidebar on countless news pages. Most on air anchors are now mentioning the upcoming special.

image

(CNN) — With Lent beginning, and a new CNN series on Christ coming up, you’re going to hear a lot about Jesus these days.

You may hear revelations from new books that purport to tell the "real story" about Jesus, opinions from friends who have discovered a "secret" on the Web about the son of God, and airtight arguments from co-workers who can prove he never existed.

Beware of most of these revelations; many are based on pure speculation and wishful thinking. Much of what we know about Jesus has been known for the last 2,000 years.

Still, even for devout Christian there are surprises to be found hidden within the Gospels, and thanks to advances in historical research and archaeological discoveries, more is known about his life and times.

With that in mind, here are five things you probably didn’t know about Jesus.

READ ON

CNN makes a point of reminding us that their upcoming special, "Finding Jesus: Fact. Faith. Forgery," premieres Sunday Night, March 1 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN. That episode will deal with the Shroud of Turin

Maybe the Nails Didn’t Go Through the Wrists

February 25, 2015 31 comments

I think it is a shroud myth that the wounds are on the wrists

imageIf you haven’t been following the recent nails-in-the-wrist debate, you should be.  Over the years, I’ve often pointed out that the nails of the crucifixion were not through Jesus’ hands but through his wrists.  Once upon a time someone told me this. Or maybe I read it in a book.  When I looked at the photographs of the shroud it seemed so obvious that I never questioned it. I can’t possibly imagine how many times I’ve repeated this fact and relied on this fact to make a point. But is it a fact?

An argument began in a posting on another subject. That happens all the time. It is what happens in online discussions. That’s fine.

The argument started when Sampath Fernando commented:

Furthermore there is no any other painting or another medieval photographic negative showing Jesus was crucified by nailing through his wrists. Almost all paintings show that Jesus was crucified by nailing his palms.

Why image on TS is the only one tell us that Jesus was crucified by nailing through his wrists

And Hugh Farey replied:

… the Shroud does not show that the nails were not banged in through the wrists. Enlarge the crossed hands area on Shroud Scope and decide where the extremities of the proximal phalanges (the clearest of the visible finger joints), and measure them using the online tool…

And Thomas wrote, “I agree. I think it is a shroud myth that the wounds are on the wrists.”  And we were off to the races:

You are going to want to read the discussion (ignoring if you wish comments on other topics that are interspersed into the discussion. Be sure to read all of discussion. Read all the way to the bottom of all the comments FROM HERE to the bottom of the page (currently, as of this posting, time stamped February 25, 2015 at 4:38 am)

Categories: Art, Image Theory Tags:

Upcoming Presentation by John C. Iannone in Winter Park

February 25, 2015 4 comments
Categories: Presentation Tags:
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