Mark Dery, writing in Religion Dispatches magazine, may be right. But is ‘fandom’ the right word. I favor ‘faith.’ But in this case, if you read the whole tiresome article, The Transfiguration of the Fanboy, fandom fits.
To the devout, the blurry apparitions of the messiah on Veronica’s Veil and the Shroud of Turin are palpable evidence of Christ’s historical reality and of his divinity. But they can also be read backwards, as visual metaphors for the shadow of a doubt that haunts all fandom . . .
Does a shadow of a doubt about our faith drive some of us to study the shroud?
If Mother Theresa and St. Francis could doubt, is their any wonder that all mortals, evne though committed Christians could doubt? Did not Christ doubt in the Garden?
This I do not doubt: that the Shroud of Turin is a new revelation for a scientific age brought to maturity by science.
I am interested in the Shroud on many levels. The brightness encoding that translates to depth. The gruesome image with it’s historical congruence with what is said to be a Roman crucifixion. The interesting historical tracing of Wilson. The blood studies of Adler. The forensics of Zugabie, etc. The congruence of the biblical story with the Shroud. It is not doubt that causes me to look at the Shroud and wonder. It is the wonders of the Shroud that make my faith more relevant to me and the world around me. Perhaps that is the core reason why there is so much doubt about things that have already been established about the Shroud. M. Yves Delage the Atheist & Barrie Schwortz the Jew are honest to admit they believe in the authenticity of the Shroud based upon the scientific evidence. Makes me wonder if those who refuse are not doing so not from scientific evidence but from some other reason.
I’d rather say a shadow of doubt about the shroud.
And Science helps seeing the shroud as the actual burial of Christ, whereas the Church would ask faith to fill the gap.
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