This is not new, but seems to have been extensively updated in January of 2023. Some people may not aware that Wikipedia has broken up what was at one time a single article on the Shroud of Turin into several more manageably-sized articles. Overall, I think this is probably a good idea. They have been adding some neat-and-short tables of contents, as well. For instance, see the table of contents for Fringe Theories duplicated at the bottom of this post.
While this may be a good idea, it is a bit daunting when you look at the results of a simple Google search, as shown here. This could be particularly so for a student exploring the subject for the first time:
Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia – The Shroud of Turin (Italian: Sindone di Torino), also known as the Holy Shroud is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man.
Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia – The Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth that tradition associates with the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, has undergone numerous scientific tests, the most …
Fringe theories about the Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia – The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth bearing the imprint of the image of a man, and is believed by some to be the burial shroud of Jesus.
Shroud of Turin Research Project – Wikipedia – The Shroud of Turin Research Project (often abbreviated as STURP) refers to a team of scientists which performed a set of experiments and analyses on the …
History of the Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia – The History of the Shroud of Turin begins in the year 1390 AD, when Bishop Pierre d’Arcis wrote a memorandum where he charged that the Shroud was a forgery.
Conservation-restoration of the Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia – During its history, the Shroud of Turin has been subjected to repairs and restoration, such as after the fire which damaged it in 1532.
Sudarium of Oviedo – Wikipedia – The Sudarium of Oviedo, or Shroud of Oviedo, is a bloodstained piece of cloth measuring c. … Comparison to the Shroud of Turin.
I notice, too, that their use of photographs is expanding and that they seem to be revising the copyright statements for all of them:
This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason . . . The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that “faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain“. This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain in the United States.
Table of Contents for Fringe Theories article:
- Fringe speculations about early artworks and relics
- Defective sample theories
- Statistical analyses
- Vanillin loss theory
- Claims of writing on the Shroud
- Images of coins theory
- Pollens and images of flowers theory
- 3D Imaging
- Energy source theories
- Burial ointments theory
- Other theories
- See also
The wiki article states “these theories do not include the scientific discussion of a method by which energy could have been produced.” (citation needed)
I am sincerely hoping that someone soon provides an appropriate citation!
I’m guessing this is why the authors refer to “fringe theories” as if the 1988 testing is the only “mainline” theory. Perhaps for them it is because they pass over the objections to the 1988 results so breezily.
Wikipedia may appear to be improving their organization of their Shroud material but it still lacks any hint of depth and/or breadth.
I’d never recommend a beginner in Shroud studies to start on this site.
I don’t know how one can provide appropriate citations for non-existent discussions! None of the more powerful radiation hypotheses include scientific discussion as to how such radiation might be produced. They all dissolve into the miraculous.
I would happily recommend using Wikipedia as a guide to an orderly investigation into the primary sources on the Shroud, as there is a vast library to draw on (mostly on Barrie’s site) and few, if any, other guides to navigate through it.
But I would agree that Wikipedia is not – but then it was never intended to be – a primary source in its own right.
The english Wikipedia articles on the Shroud and related problems are TERRIBLY biased -as far as I did read them long ago (I haven’t read them for a couple of years to save my nerves). They seem to be an awful anti-Shroud propaganda. For comparison, I have several communist era encyclopedias (general and dedicated specific topics, of course there were state censorship during communist era) and they are much less biased them Wikipedia, created in allegedly free-speech, censorship-free (allegedly) democratic society!
Paradoxically, if one read between the lines one can get some insights on the Shroud from the Wikipedia garbage articles. For example, the article on the so called “fringe theories” contains a lot of references to important Shroud studies -only labelling them as “fringe” (while they should rather be called “mainstream”). This is similar to communist era publications.
For comparison, the article on the Shroud on polish Wikipedia is poorly organized and referenced, but WAY more neutral! Though there were no updates for a long time.
The problem is WHO actually controls Wikipedia. Because there is no doubt there are powerful influence groups behind. A solitary, ordinary user is without a chance in a clash with organised troll farms manipulating Wiki.
And now, in January 2023, they really screwed english (but fortunately not polish) Wikipedia’s layout.
Thank you O.K. for discussing the OBVIOUS BIAS in Wikipedia articles about the Shroud. Hugh Farey seems to think using the label “fringe theories” is acceptable because some scholars claim a “miraculous” origin for the Image. I’d like to see where John Jackson and Bob Rucker specifically use the terms “miraculous” or ” supernatural” in their reports.
Because their scientific investigations are not limited to phenomena explainable by our CURRENT understanding of the physical universe does NOT mean such investigators are avoiding a scientific explanation. We simply do NOT know ALL the laws of the physical universe and most likely never will. That does NOT mean thinking about possible explanations for a phenomena that is outside our current understanding won’t lead to some new discoveries that may be of great use elsewhere. That’s what science does! It’s a PROCESS of learning more about the created world.
You may be right that Jackson and Rucker are not “avoiding” a scientific explanation, but as far as I know they have not published any evidence that they are investigating one. You are certainly right that “thinking about possible explanations for a phenomena that is outside our current understanding” may “lead to some new discoveries that may be of great use elsewhere,” but again, as far as I know, their possible thoughts about these possible explanations have not been published.
If Wikipedia is wrong in saying that “these theories do not include the scientific discussion of a method by which energy could have been produced,” then please point to an article which does include such a discussion.
Good Day Hugh,
To help me understand your question, please give an example of what you mean by “scientific discussion of a method by which energy could have been produced”.
Thanks so much!
I hope you’ll forgive me if I tell you my instinctive response to your question was that you can hardly criticise Wikipedia for its faults if you don’t understand what it says, but that’s a bit churlish so I’ll try to explain anyway.
If the Shroud image is created by radiation, the radiation must have come from somewhere, and somehow. A scientific discussion of a method by which this energy could have been produced might look into the possibility of radiation being emitted by a dead body, or by a dead body reviving. Or the energy could have been derived from the environment, via geological or meteorological means. A scientific discussion, even if it doesn’t seem credible, presents possibilities that can be tested. Simply suggesting that a process beyond current scientific knowledge is responsible is a derogation of science, not a discussion.
I hope that helps!
So…you are suggesting that even if a hypothesis acounts for all the known relevant characteristics of a phenomena (which can be /have been verified through use of the scientific method), unless the source being hypothesized has been physically replicated, the hypothesis is not really scientific.
But then…no hypotheses should ever be proposed unless they can be tested using only the currently-understood laws of the physical universe.
Using this mind-set, how is science supposed to progress?
I haven’t read that either Jackson or Rucker are POSITIVE their hypotheses are the ONLY viable ones; they seem to be open to other ideas whose components are currently testable so as to move science closer to understanding how the Shroud’s Image was made. To me that’s a worthwhile project.
BTW: you are indeed being churlish, but due to your advanced years I’ll forgive you–this time! :)
Simply suggesting that a process beyond current scientific knowledge is responsible is a derogation of science, not a discussion.
Actually, there are plenty of examples when scientists proposed ad hoc then uknown process or objects, to explain some phaenomena that could not have been explained by already known science. Sometimes existence of thesese processes were proven, sometimes disproven by later research. Examples include photons, neutrinos (proven) but also ether, phlogiston and caloric (disproven).
Let’s look at physical cosmology. There are some enitties existence of which cannot be directly proven, but which are postulated to explain the evolution of the Universe, like dark matter and dark energy. No one so far has detected any dark matter particle. And also there is a theory of cosmological inflation. Let’s look at Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)
Many physicists also believe that inflation explains why the universe appears to be the same in all directions (isotropic), why the cosmic microwave background radiation is distributed evenly, why the universe is flat, and why no magnetic monopoles have been observed.
The detailed particle physics mechanism responsible for inflation is unknown. The basic inflationary paradigm is accepted by most physicists, as a number of inflation model predictions have been confirmed by observation;[a] however, a substantial minority of scientists dissent from this position. The hypothetical field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton.
As you can see, the inflation hypothesis is actually an ad hoc theory, put forward in the 1970s and 1980s to explain some properties of the Universe. But this is very controversial theory, as no one has directly proven it, or what is the actual mechanism behind it. But this is considered a proper scientific theory, actually a mainstream one currently, though there are some astrophysics that consider inflation as unnecessary or redundant.
This is similar situation to the theories postulated by Jackson or Rucker regarding the Shroud. They also postulate some unknown mechanism to explain the origin of the Shroud image, just like inflation was postulated to explain the flattness of the Universe. And while they are of course controversial -just like the thoery of cosmological inflation -they are still viable scientific theories. At least in the sense that they postulate testable predictions. Yet while “inflation” (unverified, but consistent with observations) is considered mainstream theory, those theories by Jackson, Rucker or Fanti are labelled as “fringe”. At least by English Wikipedia. Which shows the double standard the largely liberal Wikipedia presents.
And BTW till 1950s-1960s, physical cosmology was also considered as “fringe science” by large part of scientists. And it was hated by atheists like Fred Hoyle for example. Because it suggested Creation. As you can see philosophical and ideological bias plays a large role in scientific community, which theories we call “mainstream” and which can we call deregotarily “fringe”.
But the old positivistic view of science as confined only to the boundaries of known and well established scientifically processes (the view the late Ray Rogers seemingly also adhered) has been long ago discredited. But the myth still lingers in the public and some scientific (or pseudo-scientific) circles.
Whew! Thanks O.K. for explaining this ever so much better than I can (or ever will be able to.) I’ve been studying about The Shroud for the last 6 months and have come away with SUCH respect for scientists, the scientific method, and the refusal to continue accepting a positivism “natural” worldview.
Hi Pamela. You say. “all the known relevant characteristics.” What would those be? Spatiality which may or may not be the case? Dehydrated and oxidized flax fibers which is in dispute? Superficiality that is possibly wrong due to sampling methods?
Several people propose radiation? Is it a byproduct or a consequence of the disappearance of the body from the tomb, the returning to life in a transformed body? Was it an accidental aspect of the miracle of Resurrection or intended? Why would a God able to raise Jesus to new life need radiation to form an image? Why not do so miraculously? Why do it?
And if something supposedly scientific (natural) why not a force or energetic something or other that is not radiation? Something else unknown to science? Why not dark energy while we are speculating beyond the bounds of known science?
From Jackson to Tipler to Antonacci and to others, there are many proposals. Robert Rucker’s is the most entertaining:
“Since there was no lens between the body and the cloth to focus this radiation, the radiation had to be emitted in vertically collimated directions up and down, like a billion vertically oriented lasers going off simultaneously within the body. . . . The main type of radiation that caused the image is believed to be charged particles (Ref. 6) such as protons and electrons, but low energy electromagnetic radiation (Ref. 7 and 8) such as infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet might have also contributed to forming the image.” — Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin by Robert A. Rucker, 2019
We are nowhere! I don’t believe for a minute that the image was caused by radiation. Nor do I think we have a handle on the image characteristics. Nor do I have any idea if the image is natural, miraculous or fraudulent.
If we start adding discussions about image possibilities, we may need to split Wikipedia articles into quite a few more topics.
Are you a proponent of the “naturralism” only wing of today’s science?
When it comes to our universe, our world, human evolution and quantum mechanics I’m almost a Deist. I don’t see the hand of God but rather the word as in John 1:1.
When is comes to the miracles of Jesus — from Cana to the feeding of the multitude to the Resurrection — I’m an almost-but-cautious literalist and I see no room for nature at all.
When it comes to the image on the Shroud, I am like my dog, who while watching the big screen TV, sees a duck fly by and disappear from sight at the screen’s edge, and who then goes searching for the duck in the living room.
I LOVE your descriptive response!!!
Although OK’s response to me begins with an emphatic “NO!!!,” his subsequent examples actually support my point. The examples he gives of physical phenomena which were “outside the realm of science” when they were first proposed were all nevertheless intensively discussed as to how the realm of science might be extended to include them, from the moment they were first proposed. Not simply the effects of cosmological inflation, but also its causes, have been the subject of dozens of papers. So far, as OK correctly reports, there are still phenomena whose acceptance is due much more to the way they explain consequent effects than to a clear understanding of how they are caused, but both sides are foci of intense investigation. The same cannot be said of the Shroud’s radiation hypothesis. Its effects have been extensively debated (and denied, by Ray Rogers and his adherents), but Wikipedia is correct that there has been no scientific discussion of a method by which this energy could have been produced.
Dan’s questions above (“Several people propose radiation? Is it a byproduct or a consequence of the disappearance of the body from the tomb, the returning to life in a transformed body? Was it an accidental aspect of the miracle of Resurrection or intended? Why would a God able to raise Jesus to new life need radiation to form an image? Why not do so miraculously? Why do it?”) are the sort of thing that do contribute to a discussion of the cause of the radiation, but that discussion would be a theological one, not a scientific one.
Hugh your last comment points to the challenge of evaluating an intriguing object purported to be associated with the founder of a major religion.
Religions and their associated theologies are always rocky roads for scholars to travel especially when those travelers are scientists or historians.
When scientists insist on accepting only “naturalistic” explanations for phenomena that appear to possibly be caused by something outside our current understanding of the physical universe, this creates an inherent tension that is difficult to navigate.
An example from your reply above can be seen in Dan’s posing of the questions: “Why would God need radiation to form an image?” and “Why not do so miraculously?”
These can be turned around and instead ask: “Why wouldn’t God use radiation which is part of the created universe? Why does the way the radiation was used have to be considered a miracle because we don’t yet understand why and how it happened?
It is within the realm of science to explore and propose hypotheses. To connect such inquiry to theology requires that the hypotheses discuss the concept of an intelligent creator who purposely interacts with our world. But this is not discussed in the current radiation hypotheses of Jackson and Rucker. One has to look elsewhere to know their religious beliefs.
O.K.’s example of the ongoing exploration of the origins of the cosmos is less of a challenge because it does not involve a particular phenomena associated with a religion as does the Shroud.
Whether one is aware of and comfortable with one’s currently-held worldview or not, encountering the physical existence of the Shroud can definitely impact that worldview in ways other studied phenomena cannot.
Attempting to explain the origin of the unique image on the Shroud automatically brings forth one’s personal biases. There is no useful way to study the Shroud without acknowledging and accounting for such.
Although I have just recently begun studying the Shroud, I think useful scientific explanations have been given for the 17 characteristics identified by STuRP. My understanding of and orientation toward science means that I don’t yet need a specific cause if these 17 characteristics to be able to accept the evidence of effects that have so far been put forth.
Science is a PROCESS not a destination and the study of the Shroud should be continued with this in mind.
Pam, you say that you think useful scientific explanations have been given for the 17 characteristics identified by STURP. I don’t. For one thing those 17 or so characteristics are not carved in stone. Rogers, head of STURP chemistry proposes the image is not dehydrateed and oxidized flax fiber but a Maillard reaction involving bodily decomposition products and a thin concentration of saponaria officinalis (soapwort) remaining on the linen fibers from washing the cloth as a final step in the weaving process. Note that STURP uses the word consensus with characteristics. That means, quite specifically not unanimous.
Let me mention one more. The images’ negativity. Did Jesus have light-colored hair. If not, then it is not a true negative. But when I asked one STURP scientist this question, the astounding answers was of course Jesus had light-colored hair because the image is a negative. When I asked Rogers he suggested that maybe the hair imaging was by a different process. Rucker in his like-a-billion lasers paper tells us the radiation came from within the body and was collimated. So how was the hair imaged on the side of the head? Is that why it is imaged darker and it is lighter on Pia’s glass plate. And how did the radiation image the beard?
Why does Rucker insist the radiation must come from within. Because he . .. well let me quote him: “The radiation not only had to be emitted from the surface of the body, but it had to be emitted from within the body because we can see bones on the Shroud, including teeth, bones in the hand, etc. The radiation had to be emitted within the body to carry to the linen cloth the information regarding the presence of these bones in the body.”
Now let me quote Rogers: “Physiologically, the effect is explained in terms of “lateral neural inhibition”: the human eye enhances edge contrasts. The mind plays games with what we think we see. Some devoted observers see images of flowers, teeth, bones, etc. on the Shroud. A statement like “I think I see” is totally unacceptable in a scientific discussion.”
Now let me quote Colin Berry::”Personally I think the boniness is prima facie evidence for imprinting by a contact process [rather] than one by radiation. With a contact process, it is just those parts of each finger that are approximately in the plane of the linen (i.e parallel) that make best contact, especially if there is applied pressure, and that is the top surface. One has only to go a few mm below that topmost plane, and the curvature of the finger means progressively less contact and pressure. There is also the likelihood of a tenting effect across the fingers that means poor imaging between the fingers. Now look at the Shroud image and you will see precisely the kind of shadowing one would expect.”
When it comes to the Shroud, I have concluded only one thing. No one’s answer is everyone’s answer. And when two or three Shroudies are gathered together there are at least six different opinions.
I agree 1000% about the various opinions expressed by different “Shroudies”. I’m not offended by that term =)
Another challenge faced by investigators of the Shroud is finding a way to organize and catalog all the information coming from so many fields.
I have found that Jackson’s Critical Summary goes a long way toward meeting this need. It is organized, has a wealth of footnotes data, and updated periodically with new information and corrections. I haven’t yet seen anything else that approaches it.
I want to emphasize again that I am not ” locked into” the radiation hypotheses, but rather find them more convincing
than the others I have read about because for me they do a better job than others of explaining STuRP’s 17 characteristics as well as my personal #18: they account for why there is no evidence of the body’s removal on the Shroud (things like blood smears and broken threads).
Roger’s gas diffusion hypothesis has been challenged as lacking sufficient evidence for 8 of the 17 characteristics.
My personal question about Maillard Reactions from a corpse is this: if the M. R. is as common as adherents of this hypothesis claim, why have there been no other examples found?
Regarding the “mind is playing tricks” idea: while
I accept this as valid, I’m not sure those AREN’T finger bones visible on the Shroud’s hand area. That feature was the first element that caught my attention back in 1978 when I initially viewed the negative photo of the Shroud. I thought at that time the fingers looked like an X-Ray of a hand and wondered why. The fingers appear extra long (a feature hotly contested as being “proof” of forgery) because they show the full length of the finger bone within the hand.
As for the coins, flowers, etc: I have no firm ideas on them yet and continue to read and think about it.
The discussion about the hair is one I’m not familiar with.
Did Jesus have light hair or dark hair? LOL!!
All these things point to the simple fact that we need to have the Shroud studied with new noninvasive scientific techniques especially at the nuclear level.
I don’t believe we’ll ever fully know with 100% conviction whether or not this cloth wrapped the body of Jesus and bears evidence of both his Passion and his Resurrection.
I’m okay with that! I want careful scientific study of this artifact continued and believe that in doing so we will learn something new about the created universe.
I take your point, Pam, and agree that “theological” was probably not the right word in my last sentence above. Perhaps if I changed it to “metaphysical” that would fit my meaning better.
Either way, Wikipedia is correct in saying that “these theories do not include the scientific discussion of a method by which energy could have been produced.”
Okay so you and Wikipedia (and of course others) do not think a hypothesis is valuable unless it includes a naturalistic explanation of both cause(s) and effect(s). Lacking a naturalistic cause, such a hypothesis must be relegated to the “fringe” category. That’s fine for some, but not adequately scientific for others.
I didn’t make any value judgements; I merely explained that what Wikipedia said was correct. However, since you mention it, I’ll now address the question of the “fringe theory.”
Wikipedia defines “fringe theory” as “an idea or a viewpoint which differs from the accepted scholarship of the time within its field.” I think that’s quite a good definition, and it says nothing about science. Among those who currently actually study the Shroud, in terms of reading the primary sources, experimenting with possibilities, or engaging in scholarly discussion, such as ourselves, I am certain that authenticists outnumber medievalists, and that the two main hypotheses of image formation among authenticists are the Maillard reaction and Radiation. In that sense, it is absolutely true that Radiation is very much within the “accepted scholarship of the time within its field,” and that therefore, following its own definition, Wikipedia should not relegate the Radiation hypothesis to an article on Fringe Theories.
Moving on, I’m afraid that for me, Jackson’s ‘Critical Summary’ is almost exactly the opposite of the model of organisation and clarity that you perceive. Simply gathering a list of assorted ideas of differing value into a tabulated list is not the same as organising it. Its primary intention is hopelessly confused, as it pretends to offer alternative views while being from the start firmly and unapologetically glued not only to authenticism, but specifically to the Fall Through hypothesis, which is itself explained in an unsatisfactory mishmash of science and the supernatural. Facts, opinions and speculation are clumped together without distinction, and make teasing apart the one from the other quite difficult unless one is already better versed in the subject than the Critical Summary itself. Finally it was written in 2014, and although a 2017 edition has been published, it largely ignores everything that has been published in the last ten years or so.
Of the 17 characteristics of the Shroud listed in an attempt to demonstrate the validity of the Fall Through hypothesis, some are facts, some are speculations, and some depend entirely on the presupposition of authenticity.
I can see from your comments why we differ on our opinions of Jackson’s Critical Summary (CS). I think it is helpful for me because, as Jackson states in the introduction, the CS is “a summary of various data collected from historical, forensic, and scientific studies.” As a summary of what important information is available, it’s useful for folks such as myself.
You describe the CS as a ” simple gathering of assorted ideas of differing values into a list” into which “facts, opinions, and speculations are clumped together without distinction.” I think this is a harsh and unfair perception.
The purpose of the CS is to make available data from a wide variety of sources and to present this information logically and in a way that is user-friendly.
If you think such information should instead be organized by fact, opinion, and speculation, then perhaps you could do such a task. The information presented is done so in a respectful and science-worthy manner. Even in the introduction Jackson is clear about his belief in the authenticity of the Shroud but he is also clear that each reader must make up their own mind about the issue by studying this topic. Jackson also is clear that the CS offers a beginning to serious Shroud Study and is therefore not the be-all or end-all.
You describe the information presented in the CS as being an unsatisfactory mishmash of science and the supernatural.
Could you provide a specific example of this in Jackson’s personal opinion? Or does an item description in one of the 7 sections include someone else’s idea that has been included?
While you seem to view the 17 Image Characteristics developed by the STuRP team as problematic, Jackson states the reason for their inclusion is because ” collectively they are sufficient to critically evaluate all of the major images formation data to date.”
The CS has been conceived as a “living summary” that will be revised as new evidence is produced. There is an appendix that lists revisions to the evidence log.
In the conclusion of the CS, Jackson reiterates his own belief about the Shroud, the need for each person to holistically study about it through the CS and other resources, and to respect those whose judgement about the Shroud differs from your own.
He is careful to articulate that his Fall-Through Hypothesis is data-driven and is therefore not, nor can it ever be, considered as scientific proof. Science, he reminds the reader, is an effort to disprove rather than prove the reality of something.
Making a judgement about the Shroud is always freeky-given.
Pam, I would like to share with you my perspective on the CS as I posted it back in December 2014. I believe that my viewpoint hasn’t changed much over the years. See: https://shroudstory.com/2014/12/07/a-response-to-the-critical-summary-presentation/
Thanks so much Dan! Ill have a look and get back to you.
I looked at your blog post and tried to view the video of Bob’s presentation but it was so dark and the audio so poor that I couldn’t fully understand it. But I think the basic issue was a disagreement over the usefulness of Shroud-related Blogs vs. The Critical Summary (CS) for people just beginning to study this fascinating artifact. I gather that your opposition to the CS is that its “too elementary” and a “one perspective proselytizing document.”
As a person fairly new to the study of the Shroud, if my only 2 choices were a Blog or the CS, I would choose the latter because it offers the beginner a framework for how to approach the task of learning about this subject, which is not only wide-ranging but saturated with controversy. Although Jackson does communicate his preference for his Fall-Through hypothesis, he is also clear in both the introduction and conclusion that his work is not to be taken as a “proof” but rather as part of the data-driven scientific study of the Shroud.
While I agree that it’s important to get other folks ideas/opinions on this topic, for a beginner it’s helpful to have a publication that offers historical and scientific information in one document. that can then be used as a “jumping off” point. I don’t know of any other such source and would be grateful if you could direct me to one. (I already am reading through Stephen Jones site.)
I think you make quite a good case. There are not many brief, tabulated studies of the Shroud on the internet, and I dare say that for an introduction, you could do worse than use the Critical Summary as a jumping off point.
As long as you do jump off (!), and check all the references independently.
Jackson’s Critical Summary is a good introduction to general characteristics of the Shroud as well as reference list to more specialized paper, but is somehow biased towards Jackson’s own ideas. The older versions of Critical Summary were briefed but in my opinion somehow less agenda driven.
There is another comprehensive list of important Shroud peculiar characteristics by Fanti et al: (“Evidences for Testing Hypotheses About the Body Image Formation of the Turin Shroud” https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/doclist.pdf ) but it is also a bit skewed towards Fanti’s ideas.
Which is actually quite normal. It is impossible to find a reference paper or a book that would be fully objective and definite source on the Shroud. Because every Shroud researchers has his or her her subjective views, preferences and sometimes agenda. No one is a perfect specialist in all fields. Everybody works and judges according to paradigms he or she was trained. It needs effort sometimes to think in different way one was used to. You need to study a lot of papers and books to make your own view on the Shroud.
Yes…that’s been my point: we ALL approach the study of something new with our own set of biases. It becomes a problem when we can’t see and/or acknowledge our bias.
If we can’t understand how our own preferred bias colors our attitude toward a particular hypothesis, we both miss the opportunity to learn something new and fall prey to the dreaded “Shroud Wars” phenomena.
As this issue has been going on for a long time and has done it’s fair share of “infecting” the scholarship, one can only hope that perhaps a younger generation beginning their own study and knowing about this pitfall can perhaps avoid some of the acrimony it has engendered.
As you are looking for info, there is a new site, Digital Syndonological Lexicon https://leksykonsyndonologiczny.pl/en/ that is being run (in both Polish and English) by several academic scholars from Poland. The site is still building up, but already looks quite well with several fairly referenced articles on specific Shroud-related topics.
Worthy of a look, indeed.
I’m out of town today but will have a look tomorrow. Thanks.
Thanks for sharing this site with me just in time for Lent! I look forward to learning more about the Shroud and of course sharing with you and others!
Dan, this is great stuff
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