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How could a medieval mind create an image such as the one on the shroud?

clip_image001A reader writes:

I just read and enjoyed your comments on shroudstory.com. While I am a practicing Roman Catholic, I also have a PhD in chemistry and I hope that I can maintain scientific objectivity regarding the shroud. I believe that whether or not the shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus can be an open question – although I personally believe it is. But whether or not the shroud is the burial cloth of a crucified person or a fake seems to me to be beyond question. If it is a fake, it is probably the most brilliant hoax of all time! It seems to me to be beyond belief that one or more persons could have assembled all of the abundant supporting evidence 1000 years ago. One can concede that with research and great diligence the faker(s) could have assembled the evidence (however unlikely that is) – with one exception: the image! As far as I know, no one has been able to satisfactorily explain or duplicate the image. How could a medieval mind conceive and execute a negative three-dimensional image such as the one on the shroud? It is that aspect of the shroud that tilts my opinion toward regarding it as the burial cloth of Jesus.

Exactly. And why, in an age that was so undemanding, would someone do so.

And then again, I think about the inventiveness and the technology that went into building those cathedrals. But isn’t that altogether quite different?

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