New Book by Mario Latendresse

imageMario, in an email, writes:

You might be interested in a new book I just published on lulu.com about the Shroud of Besançon. The book is in French, but it may interest many of your readers, at least Andrea Nicolotti….

Thanks, yes. I wish I could read French. But, yes, this blog has many people who read French in addition to Andrea.

On his website, Sindonology, Mario tells us about the book:

Do you know the Shroud of Besançon? It was as popular as the Shroud of Turin for almost three centuries. It disappeared in 1794 during the French Revolution.

Do you know the 18th century manuscrit (known as Ms 826) containing two dissertations on that Shroud? One dissertation is for its authenticity, whereas the second one is against it. The first dissertation has a proof of the origin of the Shroud of Besançon from Constantinople. So it says. But that proof has been shown to be somewhat dubious. Yet, this dissertation, and its proof, was cited numerous times by scholars and historians on the Shroud of Turin. Discover this proof by reading the manuscrit, and the comments presenting it, in the following book, just published on lulu.com.

Mario goes on to tell us that his book will be available on Amazon and from other distributors in France in the near future. Moreover, an e-book is in the works.

Gosh, I wish I could read French. Maybe when the e-book comes along I can figure out how to feed it into Google or Bing. 

And in a note of interest on his Sindonology home page, Mario tells us that Andrea Nicolotti and Cécile Brudieu will also be publishing a book on the 18th century manuscript. In French, I imagine?

Some details on Mario’s Book, now available at Lulu:

  • ISBN:   9781312942714
  • Copyright: Mario Latendresse (Standard Copyright License)
  • Edition: Première Édition
  • Publisher:  Mario Latendresse
  • Published:  February 24, 2015
  • Language:  French
  • Pages:  134
  • Binding:  Perfect-bound Paperback

So far, after a quick first reading, I like it

clip_image001BING:  My iPhone binged in the night to let me know an email I was waiting for had just arrived. Amazon was letting me know that the book I had pre-ordered, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels, had arrived on 1) my laptop, 2) my iPhone and 3) my Kindle reader at 12:13 am on the very day the book was released. This is the book that is a companion to the upcoming CNN special.

If you haven’t ordered it yet, you can do so now and be reading the book in a matter of minutes. Your laptop is all you need though I prefer an iPad.   In the U.S. the price is $12.99.*

I immediately turned to the last chapter of the book. It pertains to the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium. There are three major parts to the chapter:

  • The Man of the Shroud,
  • The Shroud of History and
  • The Shroud of Science. 

After 3 cups of way-too-early-in-the-morning strong coffee, I’m happy with what I read. It dovetails nicely, though not in every detail, with what I think is true about the shroud.

The authors even discussed one of my favorite elements of history, a third-century bit of Gnostic poetry from the Gospel of Thomas known as the Hymn of the Pearl (or the Hymn of the Soul). I quote from the book:

… but suddenly, [when] I saw the garment made like unto me as it had been in a mirror. And I beheld upon it all myself (or saw it wholly in myself) and I knew and saw myself through it, that we were divided asunder, being of one; and again were one in one shape.”

The last paragraph of the last chapter of the book reads:

Both the scientist and the cleric come to the same conclusion about where the Shroud fits in the story of mankind. “Personally, from my involvement in research on the shroud for almost forty years,” says physicist John Jackson,

“and the wealth of scientific data that we did acquire, I do think that this is the historical burial cloth of Jesus.” Fr. James Martin says, “When we look at the authenticity of the shroud, my gut tells me that it’s real.” At the same time, he ventures that the story will continue: “It is a relic that produces more questions than answers … I don’t think we’ll ever get to the heart of the mystery of the Shroud of Turin.”

ANOTHER BING:  Another email. The audio version just arrived from Audible.com at 4:33 am. Perfect. I have a dental appointment later this morning and so I’ll put some ear buds in my ears and start listening to the book from the beginning.

* BTW: If you haven’t ordered John Klotz’ The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness, do that while ordering Finding Jesus.  It will only set you back another ten bucks. John will thank you and you will thank me for recommending it.

New Book by Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello

Disclaimer:  I have not read the book.

Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello has begged me to announce it. The Shroud Guild’s Facebook page, which welcomes comments from members, beat me to it. There, on Facebook, Ruello tells us that he has published a Kindle book entitled The Second Shroud Discovered: Includes Author Autobiography. He writes:

The book is a Novella, 60 page true autobiographical, supernatural drama of my life leading into the discovery. I believe a little book will help me promote the discovery. Am now commencing to contact Hollywood,wish me luck.

In this true novella’s preface we read:

Never since the discovery of the images of the Shroud of Turin by Secondo Pia in 1898 has the world seen such images. The discovery of the Second Shroud photographic images in 2011 from another Holy and precious cloth which have been hidden for nearly 2000 years will leave you breathless. Journey through the life of a man who was tortured and abused as a child by the system that has been protecting this cloth and shrouding it in total mystery and secrecy, until now, when by chance and fate, the hand of God decided to act with an inspirational new form of infrared image processing technique that has now revealed the once hidden Holy face of Gods’ Witness the survival of a stricken soul, transformed into a courageous and enlightened being, fighting for the TRUTH to be told as he battles the prejudices and political clouds of disbelief and apathy now raging our humanity. The Second Shroud Discovered will turn your life upside down and rip apart your heart, mind and soul.

Apparently, by tilting the screen of his laptop computer and photographing it with a handheld digital camera, Ruello is able, in what are perhaps reflections, interference patterns or generated noise, new images that to his way of thinking reveal important information. You can preview some of this material at his website:  The Rome Veronica Veil And The Second Face Shroud Back Processed And Decoded (www.veronica-veil.com/)

Note: more on Ruello in this blog

More Information on the Book ‘Finding Jesus’

image

Chapter 6 is about the Shroud and the Sudarium
The first segment on CNN will be about the Shroud

The book that accompanies the CNN series on Jesus will be available in four formats on February 24, 2015.

  • Hardcover for $20.24
  • Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook for $12.99
  • Audio CD for $22.19
  • Audible for download to portable devices for $20.99 

The hardcover edition, published by St. Martin Press, is 256 pages (6.3 x 9.5 inches).

The audio editions, published by Macmillan, are narrated by Peter Larkin and run 6.5 hours.

Most vendors are accepting pre-orders now.


The Table of Contents

  • Author’s Note
  • Introduction: Who is Jesus?
  • 1. John the Baptist: Rival Messiah, Bones of Contention
  • 2. The James Ossuary: The Hand of God or the Crime of the Century?
  • 3. Mary Magdalene: Prostitute, Apostle, Saint—or Jesus’s Wife?
  • 4. The Gospel of Judas: Christianity’s Ultimate Whodunit
  • 5. The True Cross: Enough to Fill a Ship
  • 6. The Shroud and the Sudarium: Jesus of History, Jesus of Mystery
  • Acknowledgments
  • Bibliography

Some editorial reviews (from Amazon):

"A fascinating, provocative and informative entry into the life of Jesus. Finding Jesus uses controversies over recent archeological and literary finds, as well over some long-argued-over tales and relics, to provide readers with solid scholarship and thoughtful insights into the life of the man whose life, death and resurrection continues to enthrall and inspire." — James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus a Pilgrimage

"Holy doubt is an essential element of faith, yet we are tantalized by stories that give historical insights in support of the foundations of our faith. Finding Jesus explores six artifacts that are windows into early Christianity and our desire to know what happened. These windows let us see that faith is deeper than history, but knowing these complex stories can sustain us as we grapple with today’s questions. Finding Jesus’ stories reveal our very human and complex hunger to understand mystery and our past." – Sister Simone Campbell, author of A Nun on the Bus

"For more than two millennia, few people have captured the imaginations of human beings like Jesus Christ. Whether you are spiritual or skeptical, ‘Finding Jesus’ will help you experience the life of One who changed the world. Part anthology and part theology, this book is about what Jesus meant to those who knew him and what he means to those who claim to know him today. Let ‘Finding Jesus’ lead you on a journey of faith and facts–you won’t be sorry!" —Jonathan Merritt, author of Jesus Is Better than You Imagined

"Finding Jesus is for the curious: folks who are thrilled by spiritual quests and desire to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the history of our faith. You won’t regret following Gibson’s and McKinley’s path through twists and turns of the Gospels — and at the end of that path is the One who makes this greatest of stories make perfect sense." – Joshua DuBois, author of The President’s Devotional

"In a mix of engaging scholarship and gripping storytelling, Gibson and McKinley offer a page-turner for a wide audience." —Kirkus.

About the authors (from Amazon):

DAVID GIBSON is an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker who specializes in covering the Catholic Church. He appears frequently on network and cable television as a commentator on religious affairs and is a frequent commentator on NPR. He has written and co-written three prior books and also writes for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Boston Magazine, and Fortune among others.

MICHAEL MCKINLEY is an award-winning author, filmmaker, journalist and screenwriter. He has written several books, and wrote and co-produced the CBC TV documentary film "Sacred Ballot", as well as several documentaries for CNN Presents.

A Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2015: About the Shroud of Turin

It isn’t available until the middle of March

imagePublishers Weekly has picked a fiction book about the Shroud of Turin as one of The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2015The book is The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell by Ian Caldwell.

It is available in Hardcover, Various EBook Formats, including Kindle, and as an Audiobook. 

Here is what some of the journals have to say:

  • “A superior religious thriller, notable for its existential and spiritual profundity . . . An intelligent and deeply contemplative writing style, along with more than a few bombshell plot twists, set this one above the pack, but it’s the insightful character development that makes this redemptive story so moving.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Captivating . . . This thriller is, at its heart, a story of sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption. Peppered with references to real-life people, places, and events, the narrative rings true, taking the reader on an emotional journey nearly two thousand years in the making.”Library Journal (starred review)
  • “A brilliant work . . . Extraordinarily erudite . . . Caldwell makes intriguing literature from complex theology.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “Here motives are nuanced shadows that are as hard to grasp for Alex as they are for readers. It is this very elusiveness, juxtaposed against a strong sense of place, that intrigues, making this the best kind of page-turner, one about which you also have to think.”Booklist(starred review)

And some famous authors:

  • “It’s been ten years since Ian Caldwell co-wrote The Rule of Four. The Fifth Gospel was more than worth the wait. For those who might compare it to The Da Vinci Code, don’t. This marvelous book stands alone and will become the very high standard for any novel in this genre. Masterfully plotted and extraordinarily researched, and written in a voice that never rings false, The Fifth Gospel is that rare story: erudite and a page-turner, literary but compulsively readable. It will change the way you look at organized religion, humanity, and perhaps yourself.” —David Baldacci
  • The Fifth Gospel is nothing short of groundbreaking—a literary feast wrapped around an intriguing murder mystery. Caldwell writes with precision and passion as he takes us on an emotional journey deep into the workings of the Vatican and deeper into the hearts and souls of the men and women who have devoted their lives to the Church. The Fifth Gospel is a cathedral where skeptics and believers alike may enter and all will leave transformed.” —Nelson DeMille

The storyline extracted from Publishers Weekly:

. . .  the story revolves around two brothers: Alex Andreou, a married Greek Catholic priest who’s estranged from his wife and lives with his five-year-old son; and Simon Andreou, a Roman Catholic priest who works as a diplomat. Both brothers are involved with a controversial museum exhibit involving the Shroud of Turin. Dr. Ugolino Nogara claims that he has proven that the carbon tests dating the shroud to the medieval period are wrong, and that it is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. When the exhibit’s curator is found murdered and Simon is arrested, Alex sets out to find the truth—and becomes entangled in a grand-scale conspiracy that could resurrect a “poisonous ancient hatred.” An intelligent and deeply contemplative writing style, along with more than a few bombshell plot twists, set this one above the pack . . .

Okay. I pre-ordered it. It isn’t available from Simon and Schuster until the middle of March. I ordered the audiobook and the synchronized Kindle version which lets me read some, listen some while I walk the dog, read for awhile . . . you get the idea.  When it is released it will suddenly appear, as though by magic, on my iPhone and my Kindle reader.  

Oh, oh, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a coming . . .

imageJohn Klotz writes about his book on his blog, Living Free. I’ve pretty much copied everything he writes there by organizing it in to two parts. Part One is intended to get you to buy it; you may have read all these testimonial before. Part Two tells you how to order.

I haven’t seen the four color, hardcover edition.  It is on the way. This means I’ll have more to say when it arrives. Wells Fargo maybe? Postal, UPS, FedEx?  (I have read the book, however, an ebook version).

So without further comment, now, here is the text from John’s blog:

Part One:

It’s here. It has finally arrived. The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turn and the Apocalypse of Selfishness is now available in a hard copy four color edition published by CreateSpace and in multiple E-Book formats.

Read some of the reviews:

Barrie Schwortz
Editor, shroud.com
Documenting Photographer, 1978 Scientific Examination of the Shroud

"Meticulously researched, thoughtfully written and handcrafted with love and respect for the subject matter, this book is a must read for anyone fascinated by the Shroud of Turin and what it might mean to the world."

Daniel Porter
Editor, shroudstory.com

"It is the best book ever written about the Shroud. Actually, it is not just about the Shroud. The Coming of the Quantum Christ is about what the Shroud is about. It is about the confluence of streams of human understanding that meet in the study of the Shroud. Religion converging with science is one. Our history meeting our future is another. This book makes us think."

David Rolfe
Independent Movie Producer
Winner, BAFTA Award for The Silent Witness

"John Klotz brings a lawyer’s mind to an analysis of the Shroud and what, if genuine, it might mean for us. His assembly of the evidence for authenticity is meticulous and he relays it in an unfolding chronicle which also reveals the twists, turns and human frailties that have bedeviled the Shroud’s reputation and left it in limbo to anyone who has never taken the time and trouble to dig a little deeper. It is far reaching in its scope and conclusions. Hold on to your hats.”

Joe Marino
Author, Wrapped Up in the Shroud

"John Klotz has made a most impressive case for the argument that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of Jesus. He thoroughly summarizes the history of the Shroud, including the politics involved in the controversial 1988 C-14 dating, as well as the scientific evidence that has been gathered since the late 19th century, including how the latest cutting-edge theory of quantum mechanics applies to the cloth. Heavily footnoted and lavishly illustrated with both color and black & white photos, this book should be in the collection of anyone interested in the Shroud, whether a novice or a trained scientist."

Annette Cloutiér
Author, Praey to God: A Tasteful Trip Through Faith

"Rarely does a book centered on one specific subject, in this case the Shroud of Turin, mirror a true integration of life. John Klotz’s genius in writing The Coming of the Quantum Christ is that he carefully and freely managed to integrate the whole of our current society and wrap it around the Shroud of Turin. The result of which The Coming of the Quantum Christ is the most exhilarating book ever written thus far on the investigations and the implications of the Shroud of Turin vis à visthe human condition. It is a clear and concise literary masterpiece, a must read for everyone interested or even just curious about the Shroud of Turin, Christ, and Life itself."

Part Two:

If you wish to order The Coming of the Quantum Christ:

CreateSpace

A hard copy full color version can be ordered from CreateSpace:

https://www.createspace.com/5049060

Smashwords

There are eight different formats that you can download on Smashwords and actually read a free sample.

Epub can be read by Nook and Adobe Digital Editions.  Mobi can be read by Kindle.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/509210


Book: The Physical Death and Resurrection: A Surgeon’s View

Beginning with the Shroud of Turin, Dr. Norberto explores the scientific evidence
that links the Shroud to Jesus.

imageI was not acquainted with this book even though it came out in July, last year.  I just received an eblast this morning from Amazon to let me know The Physical Death and Resurrection: A Surgeon’s View by Dr. Jose J. Norberto  was now available in a Kindle edition and that I could buy the Kindle version for only $2.99 if I also bought the paperback version for $11.71 at the same time.

Why would I do that? I can buy the Kindle, alone, for $8.99.

The book has 30 reviews (surprisingly, 29 five star reviews and 1 four star review). You can read them here.

Here are two editorial reviews:

  1. "Dr. Jose Norberto, an accomplished cardiovascular surgeon, has written an interesting treatise on the crucification of Jesus Crist from a physician surgeon perspective. Readers will find his observations thought-provoking. His unique insights into the aspect of the unbelievable trauma to the human body of Jesus, as reported in Scripture, and his thoughts about the resurrection, are worth the reader’s consideration and attention." -G.B. Snider, MD, FACP
  2. "Scientists and physicians may feel troubled by the concept of faith and be reluctant to accept religion. Dr. Norberto has embraced the mysteries of faith and launched a medical investigation into certain biblical teachings. The Physical Death and Resurrection takes you on a scientific journey to the time of Christ. Beginning with the Shroud of Turin, Dr. Norberto explores the scientific evidence that links the Shroud to Jesus. In the second section, Dr. Norberto presents an intriguing scientific explanation of the crucifixion and the resurrection. The presentation is thoroughly researched and well written, offering its readers the historical and scientific evidence to support the resurrection." -Margaret S. Sawyer, M.D

About the Author from Amazon:

Dr. Jose J. Norberto grew up in the Dominican Republic, where he received his medical degree magna cum laude at the University of Santo Domingo. He completed his surgical training in the United States, receiving multiple awards for scientific research and medical excellence. Dr. Norberto is a cardiothoracic surgeon and the director of cardiac surgery at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio. He enjoys spending time with his two daughters as well as practicing clarinet and saxophone.

Six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist?

Just in time for Easter and the 2015 Shroud Exposition

John the Baptist is an artifact?

imageIf, like half the world, you have been watching CNN during the last couple of days, you may have seen a frequent ad for an upcoming series of shows starting in March.  The ad, in a quick succession of screens says:  Faith, Fact, Forgery and Finding Jesus March 2015.

Google produces little information except a nearly empty page from Carmel Communications saying:

Finding Jesus: Faith, FACTS, Forgery, a CNN relics series – coming to television on March 1, 2015; a 6- week series.

More information coming soon!

Amazon tells us about a soon to be released book called, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels by David Gibson (Author), Michael McKinley (Author). It will be available sometime around February 24th in Hardcover, Kindle, Audio CD and Downloadable Audio. The description reads:

As featured in the 6-part CNN SERIES "Finding Jesus"FINDING JESUS explores six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist, that give us the most direct evidence about the life and world of Jesus. The book and attendant CNN series provide a dramatic way to retell "the greatest story ever told" while introducing a broad audience to the history, the latest controversies, and newest forensic science involved in sorting out facts from the fiction of would-be forgers and deceivers. The book and the show draw on experts from all over the world. Beyond the faithful, the book will also appeal to the skeptical and to curious readers of history and archaeology, while it takes viewers of the primetime TV series deeper into the story.

I blogged about this last April writing then:

BREAKING: Jon Creamer of Televisual Media UK tells us about an upcoming six-part series on Jesus:

Nutopia is to make a ‘forensic’ drama doc about the life of Jesus in a six-part commission for CNN called Jesus Code.

Jesus Code will look at “forensics, biblical archaeology and forgery, exploring their connection to the real life of Jesus by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.”

The show will use drama reconstruction and interviews with scholars to re-examine six objects connected to the Biblical Jesus.

Executive Producer, Ben Goold (The Story of US, Mankind, The British) said “These are compelling and astonishing stories of relics such as the Turin Shroud and the True Cross that not only capture the imagination, but also offer real revelations about one of the most important figures in human history.”

Jesus Code will be produced by Nutopia in association with Paperny Entertainment. Filming will start in October in Europe, the US, North Africa and Middle East.  Executive Producers are Ben Goold for Nutopia and Lynne Kirby for Paperny Entertainment and it will be distributed internationally by DRG.

Jesus Code forms part of CNN’s new documentary strand in the ET 9pm primetime line-up.

Rodney Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution gives the story a bit more punch with a bit less detail as part of a story on 9 p.m. time slot that Larry King occupied for a quarter century and Piers Morgan attempted to fill. The story is mostly about the big guns CNN is bringing into the hour:Mike Rowe (‘formerly of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs’), Lisa Ling (formerly of “Our America with Lisa Ling”) and John Walsh (formerly of Fox’s ‘America’s Most Wanted”). And the icing on the cake:

Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.

Let’s see, six relics?  (1) Shroud of Turin, (2) True Cross, (3) Holy Grail ???, (4) Veronica’s Veil ???, (5) Seamless Garment ???, (6) ???.

Can you guess what the other three artifacts will be?

And from Hong Kong

Angelo Paratico has a nice quick synopsis of the modern day study of the shroud in Beyond Thirty-Nine, a blog he co-authors from Hong Kong. The posting is called  The Turin’s Shroud – a Mystery hidden into a Riddle.

clip_image001In Hong Kong we have one of the world’s great experts in the science of Sindonology, which is the study of the Shroud of Turin, known as Sindone in Italian. A Hong Kong resident since 1970, William Meacham, is an archeologist and a professor at HKU. He has many books published under his name and in particular there is one which is often cited by sindonologists: The Rape of the Shroud published in 2005.

In 1978 a special commission received permission to investigate scientifically this mysterious fabric, which appeared out of nowhere in Lirey, France, in the year 1353. This commission was called STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project). It started well, but soon descended into a factional war between bickering scientists and reluctant cardinals. Being these the basis, it is not surprising that the results, instead of clearing the waters, made them even murkier.

The book of Prof. Meacham is an highly scientific and well researched work, as he was one of the experts summoned to Italy and involved in the dating project of the Shroud, but was later sidelined by a group of people with a narrow view of what they were examining and, perhaps, lacking the necessary expertise. . . .

[ . . . ]

The validity of the C14 radiocarbon dating was put in doubt from the very beginning, and for a number of good reasons. We’ll limit ourselves to the most basic ones, noting only that it is hard to believe how scientists could act so clumsily. . . .

They found that where the image appeared there were no traces of pigments or colors, and it was certainly not obtained by heating or printing. . . .

Did anyone tell Charles and Colin? Be right back

Here is some show off trivia:

This relict had remained a property of the royal house of Italy, the Savoy, until 1983 when it was finally bequeathed to the Vatican by the last king of Italy, Umberto II, in his testament. Curiously this donation had been challenged, because what did belong to the last king should have been taken over by the republican government of Italy in 1946 but this matter is still taking dust in the Italian Parliament, as more pressing matters concerning the economy are at hand.

Maybe Friar Ockham was wrong

The obvious question to ask about Ockham’s razor is: why?
On what basis are we justified to think that, as a matter of general practice,
the simplest hypothesis is the most likely one to be true?

imageThis past week I was reading an excerpt-as-an-article in Salon. It was taken from Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart by  Lex Bayer (left) and John Figdor (right). Salon packaged the excerpt as The new atheist commandments: Science, philosophy and principles to replace religion. Therein, the authors argue that “Atheism need not be reactionary — it can offer constructive rules to live by.”

“Stand back, Moses: Here’s our shot,” Bayer and Figdor say in the Salon lead.

Bumptious pompousity, if not part of stand up comedy, is reactionary; I guess they don’t get it. Or maybe they are just being flip. Anyway, it was a turn off. I thought about powering down the laptop for the night but the next sentence caught my attention:

We begin by suggesting a framework of secular belief. It begins with the simple question, How can I justify any of my beliefs?

I had to read on.

[W] e quickly realize that every belief is based on other preexisting beliefs. . . .

. . . Instead of presuming source beliefs are beliefs based on faith, let’s instead regard them as the starting assumptions for a logical proof. We can put forth a set of core assumptions and then develop a broader system of belief based on those assumptions. If the resulting system fails to create a cohesive and comprehensive system of belief, then we can start over. The initial assumptions can then be reformulated until a set is found that does lead to a consistent, meaningful “theorem of life.”

One method is . . .

to favor simplicity. This is called Ockham’s razor, after the fourteenth-century philosopher and theologian William of Ockham. The “razor” refers to any principle that helps narrow possibilities. This principle states that the answer that requires the fewest assumptions while explaining all of the facts is most likely to be correct.

But the authors caution us about this:

If we apply the razor to our search for source beliefs, it follows that a system of beliefs that requires fewer source beliefs has a greater likelihood of being valid. In other words, the fewer leaps of faith (unjustifiable source beliefs) required in order to create a system of belief, the less faith we need and the more confident we can be in the outcome.

Of course, it’s possible to misuse this concept—typically by ignoring the requirement to explain all the facts. For example, the hypothesis that height alone determines a person’s weight is a lot simpler than the notion that the complex interplay of a few dozen genes, diet, and exercise does so. But the simpler explanation fails to explain all the facts—namely, the stunning range of actual variation we see in real-life height-to-weight ratios. The five-foot-five sumo wrestler who weighs a hundred pounds more than the six-foot-nine basketball player presents an instant (and fatal) problem for the simpler answer. Thus, simpler is better so long as it explains all the facts.

Not being able to justify is not parsimonious unless you can be certain that you have all the facts. It’s not just not explaining all the facts. It’s knowing what the facts are that can be the problem. 

How often do we invoke Ockham’s Razor in this blog? In just the first half of this month we have have encountered:

  • Charles Freeman responding to John Green: 

    I still cannot see why you think the Shroud is outside the ordinary as a physical object other than that it was kept rather than being thrown away as we know most linens were after their colours had faded. Still please go on with your researches. You are certainly not into Occam Razor country!

  • John Klotz reacting to Charles Freeman:

    Amid all the tumult an debate, I think that applying Occam’s razor, the simplest solution, requiring the fewest assumptions is that the Shroud is what it purports to be, the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

  • Colin Berry addressing Charles Freeman:

    It’s the subtlety of the TS image , both as-is, and the way it responds to modern technology that should have told you the TS was no ordinary image, certainly not painted. Flaked-off paint? The onus is on you to deal with Occam’s Razor.

  • And Colin Berry addressing the lack of directionality in the images:

    Is it any wonder that some see the subject itself as the source of radiant energy, wavelength usually unspecified, albeit with handy orthogonal projection and ability to ‘scorch’ linen across air gaps, provided (a) they don’t exceed 3.7cm and (b) Occams’s razor is kept in its protective sheath.

  • Two and a half years ago I posted the following:


Taking Ockham’s Razor to Ockham’s Razor

imageThere is a whole lot of wisdom in a brief paper by Massimo Pigliucci over at Rationally Speaking:

. . . Philosophers often refer to this as the principle of economy, while scientists tend to call it parsimony. Skeptics invoke it every time they wish to dismiss out of hand claims of unusual phenomena (after all, to invoke the “unusual” is by definition unparsimonious, so there).

. . . The obvious question to ask about Ockham’s razor is: why? On what basis are we justified to think that, as a matter of general practice, the simplest hypothesis is the most likely one to be true? Setting aside the surprisingly difficult task of operationally defining “simpler” in the context of scientific hypotheses (it can be done, but only in certain domains, and it ain’t straightforward), there doesn’t seem to be any particular logical or metaphysical reason to believe that the universe is a simple as it could be.

What proof is there that the philosopher Franciscan friar William of Ockham (1288-1348) was right? How much science has been decided by taking leap of faith in Ockham?

Both sides in the Shroud of Turin debate invoke Ockham  as a weapon of choice, it seems, in every debate.

A MUST READ: Razoring Ockham’s razor

Utter hogwash

imageIt has been mentioned at least twice in comments to postings in this blog. So here is a good article by Greg Carey (pictured) that appears in the Huffington Post:

Just this week another Jesus hoax has appeared in the media. Media producer Simcha Jacobovici has collaborated with a professor named Barrie Wilson on a book called, "The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text That Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene." I don’t wish to be rude, and I will freely admit I haven’t read the book yet, but the entire premise is utter hogwash.

[ . . . ]

We might begin with the book’s title. "The Lost Gospel" suggests the discovery of a new literary source, one that is either recently discovered or has been largely neglected. Instead, the "lost gospel" is actually an ancient Jewish (perhaps Christian) novel we call "Joseph and Aseneth." It’s well known, and it’s received quite a bit of scholarly attention. Joseph and Aseneth is included in the standard collections of ancient Jewish literature that all biblical scholars consult. This month’s Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, the most significant gathering of biblical scholars in the world, will include two papers devoted to the story. Just type "Aseneth" into your Amazon search window, and you’ll find quite a few books devoted to the story, including monographs by leading scholars.

Unfortunately, Jacobovici and Wilson describe the text as "Gathering dust in the British Library" and suggest they have "uncovered" it. Unfortunately, the media has bought into that narrative. . . . In fact, Duke University professor Mark Goodacre created his Joseph and Aseneth home page in 1999 — quite a bit before its recent "uncovering."

The new book’s subtitle reveals a second problem: "decoding." The authors claim this ancient novel carries a secret meaning. Joseph and Aseneth makes perfect sense without decoding.

[ . . . ]

It is always bad form to attack a theory by condemning its proponents, but Simcha Jacobovichi is a notorious peddler of misleading theories. He promoted an ossuary as containing the bones of Jesus’ brother James, a theory that has been disconfirmed. He also developed a documentary that claimed to unveil the Jesus family tomb, also refuted by experts, and even claims to have uncovered the nails used in Jesus’ crucifixion. It’s a shame that the media ever pays attention to him, at least when he’s talking about Jesus.

The Holkham Bible Recently Much Mentioned

It is interesting. But I wonder how significant this is as evidence. And specifically, of what?

Click to enlarge image to 2506 by 1246  

New Publication on Manoppello Veil

OK writes:

clip_image001There is a new academic publication on the Manoppello Image, available in both polish and english version as Ikona z Manoppello prototypem wizerunków Chrystusa and The Manoppello Icon. The prototype of images of Christ. There is a table of contents ("spis treści") available for download. The authors are Karolina Aszyk, an art specialist, and Zbigniew Treppa, professional photographer as well as theologian and lecturer at the University of Gdańsk, which released this work. The price of it is 36.75 PLN, roughly 10 $ without a shipping fee.

Having familiarized with a polish version, I can say a few words about it. It is an interesting study of visual properties of the Veil when photographed during different lighting conditions,as well as of the influence of the Veil on Byzantine, medieval, and renaissance art. Yet I think that the arguments presented are not strong enough to convince declared sceptic, and further researches in those directions (including those I try to perform myself) is necessary.

On Early Reviews

imageJohn Klotz  pens out some thoughts about what two people are saying about his book in A critcal response to a critic. For instance, on what Hugh Farey, the editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS), wrote, John writes:

As an author, I suppose that I should not be too sensitive to criticisms. It comes with the territory. However, Hugh Farey’s  criticism posted on shroudstory.com that I did not devote enough space and energy to explaining why Picknett-Prince theory that DaVinci forged the Shroud 100 years after it was first exhibited in Lirey, France is nearly as supercilious as the theory itself (which Hugh apparently rejects also).

And on what Ms. Underwood had to say over at Amazon,  John tells us:

[Her] review was enlightening and helpful to me:

"Excellent account of the history of Shroud research and presents a very good case for its authenticity! I was a bit disappointed that it did not delve into how the findings of quantum physics may provide a possible mechanism for the image formation."

I will be preparing a revision to answer Ms. Underwood’s comment and if anyone has already purchased the book, I will provide the revision gratis. Actually, the revision of the one chapter will include a discussion of a 2010 presentation by Andrew Sullivan and Nigel Kerner[iii] which argues that consciousness was an elemental power that along with gravity pre-existed the universe and engendered it. That’s my very brief summary and/or conclusion.

You will want to read A critcal response to a critic.

It Bears Repeating

During a break in the St. Louis Conference, a few of us were in the back of the room sipping coffee and munching what I called Neutron Chip Cookies – that was because one of those monstrous chocolate chip cookies would rejuvenate you with all of the calories you had burned in a year of exercise.  I was talking about John Klotz’ book.

She had said, “I would like to read it but I don’t own a Kindle.”

“You don’t need to,” I said. “Amazon has apps for most tablets and smartphones. And you can read Kindles books on most laptops and desktop computers. I even have John’s book on my iPhone. See!”

image

That picture is real. That is my hand holding my iPhone displaying John’s book. It is not photoshopped.

For You Barnes & Noble Nook Fans

clip_image001imageJohn Klotz’ new book, The Coming of the Quantum Christ is now available for B&N’s Nook as well as Amazon’s Kindle.

New Book: The Coming of the Quantum Christ:

. . . The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness

What some of us are saying over on Amazon:

imageDan Porter, Editor of Shroudstory.com called Quantum Christ "the best book ever written about the Shroud." Actually, he wrote, "it is not just about the Shroud. The Coming of the Quantum Christ is about what the Shroud is about. It is about the confluence of streams of human understanding that meet in the study of the Shroud. Religion converging with science is one. Our history meeting our future is another. This book will make you think."

Award winning film producer [Silent Witness] David Rolfe wrote: [John Klotz’s] assembly of the evidence for authenticity is meticulous and he relays it in an unfolding chronicle which also reveals the twists, turns and human frailties that have bedeviled the Shroud’s reputation and left it in limbo to anyone who has never taken the time and trouble to dig a little deeper. It is far reaching in its scope and cconclusions. Hold on to your hats.”

imageAnnette Cloutier, author of Praey to God: A Tasteful Trip Through Faith, wrote "John Klotz’s genius in writing The Coming of the Quantum Christ is that he carefully and freely managed to integrate the whole of our current society and wrap it around the Shroud of Turin. The result of which The Coming of the Quantum Christ is the most exhilarating book ever written thus far on the investigations and the implications of the Shroud of Turin vis à vis the human condition. It is a clear and concise literary masterpiece, a must read for everyone interested or even just curious about the Shroud of Turin, Christ, and Life itself."

Joseph Marino, author of Wrapped-up in the Shroud summoned-up Quantum Christ in these words: "Heavily footnoted and lavishly illustrated with both color and black & white photos, this book should be in the collection of anyone interested in the Shroud, whether a novice or a trained scientist."

Barrie Schwortz, Editor of Shroud.com and Documenting Photographer of the 1978 Scientific Examination of the Shroud put it this way: "Meticulously researched, thoughtfully written and handcrafted with love and respect for the subject matter, this book is a must read for anyone fascinated by the Shroud of Turin and what it might mean to the world."

The Kindle Edition is $9.90 USD.   BUY IT!!!

  • File Size: 2466 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Publisher: John C. Klotz (September 30, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00O3KFY0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled

The Metamorphosis and Manipulation of a Legend?

imageAndrea Nicolotti’s book, From the Mandylion of Edessa to the Shroud of Turin: The Metamorphosis and Manipulation of a Legend (Art and Material Culture in Medieval and Renaissance Europe) has finally been published in English. It was available in Italian in 2011. Andrea, who has commented in this blog on occasion, considers this to be a “revised and augmented edition.”

The price for the Hardcover edition is $124.00 at Amazon. The list price is $142.00.  (Please note that Amazon is reporting that the book has not been released even though the publication date is September 15th. Nonetheless, Amazon is accepting orders at this time).

A limited preview of the first chapter and the conclusion from the last chapter is available at Academia.org. The Table of Contents and Index are also provided.

The whet your appetite here are three paragraphs from the conclusion:

There is not a shred of evidence that the Mandylion of Edessa was a long shroud or that it showed the entire body of the crucified and wounded figure of Christ. Those who argue for the shared identity of the Shroud of Turin and the Mandylion of Edessa have based their arguments on evidence that cannot withstand close scrutiny. In order to argue for the authenticity of the Turinese relic, some have gone to great lengths. In so doing, they have approached the changing nature of the legends concerning this relic too simplistically. More-over, they have used evolving legends as if they were trustworthy historical sources, which is utterly unacceptable.

It is clear that the ultimate aim of the theory that identifies the Shroud with the Mandylion is to demonstrate that the Shroud of Turin has existed and can be documented since antiquity. But the first historical documents that mention the Shroud date to the fourteenth century, and the date obtained by radiocarbon dating places it between 1260 and 1390 CE. The history of the Shroud is the topic of my next book, but it is important to clarify that even if the Shroud was authentic and dated from the first century, it is a completely different object than the Edessean image.

We can therefore end this analysis by quoting the 1786 opinion of the Marquis Giovanni de Serpos, in regard to the reliability of that “sweet illusion” and the “birth of a devout imagination” in the legend of Abgar: “Everything so far narrated must be counted as mere fable.”

Order it today and Amazon will ship it the minute it becomes available. I look forward to reading this book and his next book on the history of the Shroud.

1st Place Book Award for Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations

Please note that this is a press release for an award. It is not a book release
announcement. The book was announced in this blog in early 2013. The book is
available at Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle.


clip_image001FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Shroud of Turin; new study links the Shroud to the Resurrection of Jesus.

Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations

Published by Outskirts Press

Outskirts Press announces the latest highly anticipated religion and science book
from, Lake City, FL,
Author T. C. Newman.
[pictured]

Follow the light, The Shroud’s Revelations; Is now a 2014 1st Place Winner
Of the EVVY Book Awards, held in Denver, Aug.23.2014

The Shroud of Turin is one of the most misunderstood artifacts known to humanity however it is also one of the most rigorously investigated. This book deciphers the three-dimensional information encoded within the image of the Shroud of Turin, which has baffled scientist, chemist, and theorist who despite all their examinations, debates, and journalistic data, cannot explain the mechanics of the image, or what caused the image to appear. Many mysteries concerning the Shroud’s image are now identified. The follow-the-light-method also provides the most accurate portrayal of the man who rested underneath the Shroud. This journey combines over thirty-years of determination through experimentation. The author discovers the Shroud’s image is a blueprint that produces its own three-dimensional sculpture with astonishing new details never before realized. This documentation permits the reader to experience the events that explain the enigmas of the image-producing process, within an easy to follow storyline that powerfully exposes the hidden truth behind the creation of the Shroud’s image. The artistic-process is explained, so that an artist may duplicate the follow-the-light-method and verify all of the evidence that this book contains. The conclusion remains thought provoking and relinquishes all of this evidence to the hands of the reader to determine if the Shroud of Turin, is in fact the image of the true historic Jesus caused by the resurrection event.

imageFirst published February 11, 2013. Denver, CO, and Lake City, FL Outskirts Press, Inc. has published Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations by T. C. Newman.  The author’s most recent book to date is a 6 x 9 paperback in the religion and science category and is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. E-Book available at Amazon.com. Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations is also available in a 6 x 9 case bound edition.  The webpage at www.outskirtspress.com/followthelight was launched simultaneously with the book’s publication.

115 pages in length, Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations is being promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the religion and science category.  With U.S. wholesale distribution through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and pervasive online availability through Amazon, Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations meets consumer demand through both retail and library markets with a suggested retail price of $14.95 and $24.95 for the paperback and case bound editions, respectively.

Additionally, Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations, can be ordered by retailers or wholesalers for the maximum trade discount price set by the author in quantities of ten or more from the Outskirts Press Direct bookstore at www.outskirtspress.com/bookstore.

ISBN: 9781432797263

Format: 6 x 9 paperback white

SRP: $14.95

ISBN: 9781432797270

Format: 6 x 9 case bound

SRP: $24.95

For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/followthelight.

Or contact the author at, followtheshroudslight@gmail.com

About the author:

As a self-taught artist, T. C. Newman splits her passions between art and family.  Her mother was an artist and her father a physicist, so she developed a strong knowledge of art as well as all things mysterious.

About Outskirts Press, Inc.

Outskirts Press, Inc. offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at www.outskirtspress.com and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press represents the future of book publishing, today.

# # #

Emanuela Marinelli: Fantacies! Non Existent Objects

Flowers, tools of crucifixion, double impression of the right hand showing movement.

visionaries discredit the serious research on the Shroud

imageRobert Vitale over at the Amici della Sindone Facebook page, ( tell us (in Italian) about a new book (in Italian) which, as we read in the Bing translation:

It’s definitely one of the most controversial books written in relation to the shroud. The author, from Palermo Giuseppe Maria Catalano, Claims That Are Clearly visible on the Turin linen, traces of the resurrection of Jesus (in double impression of the right hand in the "movement" Among other things.) Not only. The author, as he Stated in His work, working on high magnifications Enrie photos, he noticed the presence of the fabric flowers, plants, (also on the helmet of thorns !!!), even of the tools used to crucify Christ. I have personally met Catalan, but blackberries than convinces me, I was confused blackberries. Have you ever read this book? And then, what do you think of the Sicilian scholar claims?

What the blackberries? Just ignore the fruit references; Bing is far from perfect.

Emanuela Marinelli, one of the world’s most respected shroud scholars,was quick to respond:

Fantasies! Catalano is not the first to see non-existent objects in every spot of the Shroud.http://people.duke.edu/~adw2/shroud/whanger.htm Unfortunately, these visionaries discredit the serious research on the Shroud.

Notice that Emanuela is pointing to the Duke University based site of Alan Whanger.

Roberto Vitale replies:

also add my testimony. Naturally skeptical of these claims, I just tried to figure out who he really was the "character" Catalano, visiting the photographic exhibition on the Shroud actually a commercial for his book,he set up in Palermo. Catalan is definitely an interesting character in his own way highly educated, but, and here I fully agree with Emanuela Marinelli, definitely imaginative. Just think of his thesis, definitely out of the ordinary, with which Catalan claims that the Earth’s axis has shifted due to an asteroid. There were also problems with the Center for Sindonologia, as Catalano wanted to use his lawyers accusing him of defamation that the Centre had allowed himself to define "questionable" his thesis. As far as I know, his only threats were not carried out. What impressed me though, was the great journalistic attention turned to a study of this kind, reflecting the fact that the press is thrown a dead weight on the sensational, not investigating the goodness of the content of what they publish.

And, of course, we have someone in Australia who sees the eyes opening in order to take a quick peek around the room.

Coming Out of the Closet on Pollen and Plant Images

imageStephen Jones has put together an interesting posting on the pollen found on the shroud and apparent images of plants some claim to see on the cloth. He does so from the perspective some material in a 2005 book, A Grain of Truth: How Pollen Brought a Murderer to Justice by Lynne Milne.

Stephen writes:

Milne has `come out of the closet’ and is clearly a Shroud pro-authenticist (whether she realises it or not), differentiating herself from Shroud sceptics, pointing out that the Shroud must have had an undocumented history outside of Europe before 1352, in the Middle East, the carbon-14 date for the age of the Shroud cannot be correct and indeed has been "discounted"!

Out of the closet? A pro-authenticist (whether she realizes it or not?

But when Milne writes in her book that . . .

The carbon-14 dating has since been discounted. The linen threads that were dated are chemically different from most of the’ Shroud linen. Was this younger thread used for mending the Shroud when it first arrived in France, or before it was taken from Constantinople?

Stephen disagrees. She is wrong, he tells us because the only satisfactory explanation for errors in the carbon 14 dating is Stephen’s own so far unsubstantiated theory that a computer hacker fudged the dates.

How to Start a Rumor

Stephen Jones has started reading N.T. Wright’s monumental, 800+ page book, The Resurrection of the Son of God. He wonders in his blog, Is N.T. Wright a Shroud pro-authenticist?

imageThat Wright, a former Anglican Bishop of Durham, and a leading New Testament scholar, even mentioned the Shroud at all is amazing, given that Christian academics tend to ignore it, for fear of being thought of as belonging to the so-called `lunatic fringe’.

And that Wright referenced not a more well-known Shroud book, like one of Ian Wilson’s, but one that is less well known, by the Whangers, argues for Wright not only being a Shroud pro-authenticist, but having read widely in Shroud literature.

Tom Wright is one of my heroes. I’ve read many of his books including this one. It is probably the best modern-era book written on the subject. In my opinion, the reference to the shroud is casual, by-the-way, and unnecessary. I certainly don’t see how Stephen can assume that Tom Wright is a “a Shroud pro-authenticist” or has “read widely in Shroud literature.” 

But it makes for a silly rumor that might spread on the Internet.