authentic or not

imageImagine that you are commissioned to create a shroud. That is what David Rolfe wants you to imagine.

You are to create a work that captures its essence and convince viewers both contemporary and beyond that they are in the presence of a most precious relic. However you go about it, and we may never know, we can see what you created. We can look upon it as it lies within these pages centuries after you created it. Does it fulfil the brief? Does it speak out as a great work should? Let us make an objective assessment of its observable subjective qualities and its simple facts. What do we see?

• Your choice of an image left on a Shroud is a perfect encapsulation of the mystery that surrounds him. After all, it is the reporting of his death by crucifixion that is the principal independent corroboration that Jesus lived at all. Congratulations

So read the whole list of "congratulations" in The Shroud’s Intrinsic Value – Authentic or Not in the latest issue of BSTS or on David’s site:

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?

Please Revisit David Rolfe’s Shroud Enigma Soon

imageSpotted:  A redesign going on over at David Rolfe’s The Enigma of the Shroud of Turin website. “This site is currently being reconstructed. Please revisit soon,” a small banner states just below the title. Fair enough. But some of it is there and we can look at it.

There is a nice 30 second clip of Ian Wilson right there on the home page.

There is this from the right hand column on the page. You can’t click yet (as it suggested you do) so revisit soon:

To use dispassionate argument to focus attention on something that may, uniquely, have a direct link to the historical Jesus of Nazareth. If you are interested in why I think this is important please click here. My reasons may surprise you.

David Rolfe, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK.

Films for free. Very generous. Some of it is there already and some is not so revisit soon:

Meanwhile…I am making the three films I have made on the subject over the last four decades available on this site for all to view without charge. The most recent is in eight languages. If you are new to the subject you might wish to select your preferred language and first watch this summary of the story. Just choose your flag. This particular film was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Turin and to their brief. It is not as dispassionate in tone as this website aspires to be but I can vouch for all the factual material. . . .

Some good sharing out here.  I’d add the social media Facebook, Twitter and Google+ links. And aren’t copies of past BSTS newsletters available on Barrie’s website?

For really fast-moving debate and comment on the subject you should keep in touch with Dan Porter’s [Shroud Story] blog and for the ultimate in deep study of the subject explore Barrie Schwortz’s exhaustive Not yet available online but well worth subscribing to is the British Shroud of Turin Society’s (BSTS) Journal. It is edited by Hugh Farey, a sceptic who brings a cold and withering eye to the more sanctimonious or simply superficial studies that are all too frequently let loose.

Looks good. I’ll need to revisit soon.