David Rolfe: The Shroud image makes no concessions to art

Could the Shroud become a symbol of interdenominational unity?
Could it even become a symbol of interfaith unity?

imageDavid emails to let us know that he has updated The Enigma of the Shroud of Turin website. It is a wonderful update. “The headline,” he writes:

. . .  is that the 2010 film is available in eight languages free to watch. All three films are available on the English page. . . .

That would be:

  • The Silent Witness
  • Material Evidence – The Shroud of Turin
  • The Case for the Turin Shroud

Select a flag (on David’s new page) to watch the films. 

clip_image001Now for a MUST READ. David writes in his email:

I have also created an editorial page on which I have posted some (I think) new and possibly controversial ideas.  I hope they get some traction and very happy if they raises discussion on your blog.

Read both the main content (The intrinsic value of the Shroud – authentic or not) and the right-hand column (A Campaign).

Here, from the right-hand column, is a snippet of what David posts:

Could the Shroud become a symbol of interdenominational unity? Could it even become a symbol of interfaith unity?

For almost 40 years I have watched the arguments for and against the Shroud’s authenticity ebb and flow. I have seen good friends fall out over them and many dedicated champions of the subject go to their graves without seeing any fundamental change in the status quo. I would like to see some wider recognition for what the Shroud could be before I get too much older and, with an exposition this summer (April 19th to June 24th.) 2015 is an auspicious year for such an aspiration.

Judaism and Islam eschew iconography and there are good reasons for that. The sentimentality of the Jesus of the Sacred Heart has “Disneyfied” Jesus.

Beautiful though it is, even Michaelangelo’s Pieta brings a level of sentimentality that can cloud judgement. Once the first Jewish Christians decided to include pagans in the new religious adventure inevitably the risk of idolisation returned and, I would argue, it did. This has been splendid news for proselytisation and art but bad news for clarity of thought. The austere and (so far) inexplicable shroud image makes no concessions to “art”.

Your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “David Rolfe: The Shroud image makes no concessions to art”

  1. David’s comment is excellent and to the point. I differ in one regard, as he has demonstrated with a deeps sense of irony, the concept that the Shroud is of medieval origin is not just wrong but supercilious. I believe humanity is in desperate need of Christ because it is facing a crisis of a magnitude unlike any other in the past.

    I believe, and I have written, that “If the Shroud of Turin is authentic, it is arguably the important object on the face of the earth with the possible exception of nuclear weapons.”

    Humanity now faces an apocalypse. Last year, there was a flood of of scientific reports confirming that selfish exploitation of the environment has unleashed processes that will ultimately render human life untenable.

    Christ sacrificed himself but he did so because it is his Resurrection that promises to each of us that selfless sacrifice is the path to the primordial consciousness from which our existence sprang, in other words God.

    Pray now, that Pope Francis lives a longer life than one might expect. He realizes that. In fact he is a modern John the Baptist crying in the desert; “Make ready the way of the Lord.”


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