I first encountered the writings of Danusha Goska more than a decade ago when I read a comment about the shroud published by Barrie Schwortz (it is about 1/3 of the way down the page). I’ve discussed it in ‘If the shroud is a forgery, where are its precedents?’ almost exactly two years ago. I wrote “THIS IS A MUST READ: Bieganski the Blog: The Shroud of Turin.”
Now I see a new blog posting by Danusha in Send Save Delete: Catholics, Atheists, Censorship and the Shroud of Turin: Who Censored Whom?
It always drives me a little crazy when the popular press repeats this old misconception about the Shroud of Turin: "irrational, devout Catholics believe the Shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus, but scientists and other rational people have proven it to be a forgery."
I’m Catholic and I know that most Catholics have either never heard of the Shroud of Turin or are only vaguely aware of its existence and don’t think or care about it much.
Scientists are the ones who have obsessed on the Shroud, because its unique features make it a mind boggling puzzle worthy of their obsession.
and she concludes:
Although Delage made it clear that he did not regard Jesus as the resurrected Son of God, his paper upset the atheists members of the Academy, who prevented its publication. This act of scientific censorship marks the beginning of the academic refusal even to discuss the origin of the Shroud." Delage wrote a letter protesting the atheists’ censorship of his work. "I consider Christ as a historical personage and I do not see why anyone should be scandalized that there exists a material trace of his existence.”
I recommend it: Catholics, Atheists, Censorship and the Shroud of Turin: Who Censored Whom?
Danusha V. Goska, PhD, is a writer and teacher living in New Jersey. She has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, on both coasts, and in the heartland, of the United States. She holds an MA from UC Berkeley and a PhD from Indiana University Bloomington. She currently works at WPUNJ. Her writing has been praised by a variety of scholars, including John Mearsheimer, Father John Pawlikowski, Robert Ellsberg and Paul Loeb. She has won the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Grant, the Halecki Award, and the Eva Kagan Kans award.
The photograph is by Jeff Miller and Kesha Weber. © UW-Madison University Communications
One has to remenber anti-clericalism was maybe at its highest in France when Pr Delage protested against censorship.
Times have changed.
I’m not sure about the prevalence of anti-clericalism in France at this time. Of Delage’s presentation Ian Wilson notes that: a) Delage himself was an agnostic (and so might have expected a better reception); b) Along with the London Times and the British medical journal ‘The Lancet’, the Paris Figaro also voiced its support; c) It was the French Academy of Sciences dominated by “rationalists and free-thinkers” that showed its hostility to Delage’s half-hour presentation.
This anti-religious sentiment was not prevalent throughout all of France, but tended to be concentrated around Paris. NZ Catholicism owes a great debt to Lyons which was a significant centre of Catholic activity and missionary zeal. Not only was Bishop Pompallier from Lyons but Marist missionary priests were also dispatched to Oceania, and Lyons was also the home of Blessed Mother Mary Aubert who was a significant missionary and apothecary in early New Zealand. Lyons was also the home of Blessed Frederic Ozanam the founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society, a major Catholic charitable organisation within NZ and elsewhere. The Marist order continues to be a significant presence here.
The one-time hostility towards religion, and Catholicism particularly, seems now to have given way towards sentiments of indifference and secularism, not only in France but throughout much of Europe and the Western world generally. It has forgotten its cultural roots.
I wonder how Delage expected his work to be recieved. He should know most members of the French Academy of Sciences were deeply anticlerical, some close to an anticlerical sectarism.
It was well beyond quiet atheism. This was academical context in France, 1902.
Censorship didn’t prevent STURP’s scientists to publish their work in respected peer reviewed journals in the 80’s.
A big part of the French population is known to be Catholic, though not necessarily practicing. Sarkozy never denied his Catholicism and reminded his people more than once about regaining forgotten values and traditions, and something similar was said by Merkel, a Lutheran, in Germany. Unfortunately, Sarkozy was not re-elected.
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