Drowning in ignorance about the Shroud of Turin

imageDid Chris Sullivan actually write, “the argument still rages as die hard believers drowning in their own ignorance refuse to accept the facts?” Talk about refusing to accept the facts.

As the Great Plague swept across Europe in the 14th Century the medieval world wallowed in a sea of religious hysteria and while some took to self flagellation the infinitely more clued up took to faking religious body parts such as the brain of St Peter, the foreskin of St. Gregory and the milk of the Virgin Mary. The most persistent of all these fakes has been the famed Shroud of Turin. Supposedly the burial shroud of Jesus, it was acquired, possibly from Constantinople, by the French knight, Geoffroy de Charny, who built a church to house it in 1355 only for it  to be  judged to be a fake by Pope Clement VII in 1390. Of course many a saintly dick and digit were regarded with suspicion but the validity of the shroud was reassessed when in 1898 Italian amateur photographer Secondo Pia discovered that the photographic negatives of the cloth exposed the image of a face that was otherwise invisible without such technology.  Ipso facto a cult was born.  In 1982 a group calling itself the Shroud of Turin Research Project declared it to be genuine, however in 1988 carbon dating placed the cloth to the mid 14th Century. More recently in 2005, Doctor Jacques di Costanzo and historian Paul-Eric Blanrue proved that such an image might easily have been achieved in the middle ages by simply rubbing an iron oxide mixed with gelatine onto cloth and yet the argument still rages as die hard believers drowning in their own ignorance refuse to accept the facts.

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