Cris Campbell has up a posting, Shrouded History, in his Genealogy of Religion blog. Just a few selected sentences tell you everything you need to know. I’ve taken the liberty of bolding a few words:
. . . Those who wish to see in the shroud scientific evidence of “supernatural imprinting” have been indefatigable in their efforts, and spared no expense, to show it is miraculous . . .
. . . All this countering [of evidence] has led to buckets of ink being spilled, a process not dissimilar to the way in which pigments were applied to the shroud. The shroud, in other words, was painted: not just once, but several times. This is the conclusion reached by Charles Freeman in his 8,400 word essay over at History Today.
. . . What makes this essay particularly interesting, indeed remarkable, is that it appears to be the first in-depth historical inquiry into the shroud.
. . . science has such enormous cultural prestige that it sometimes causes us to ignore, or at least subordinate, companion disciplines like history. This may account for the rush to test the shroud before historicizing it. Had the order been reversed, the painting hypothesis — suggested by history — could have been specifically tested.
There is one comment, so far. It is by Charles Freeman:
. . .Take a woven linen cloth, gesso it on the outer fibrils as recommended in medieval manuals, add painted images, furl and unfurl over five hundred years and you will be there!
There is even a exclamation mark. There is even that Hallian finality-tonality: “Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it.”
I never thought of history as subordinate to science. But when I read this blog posting I wonder if I am right in my thinking; history up against science?