The Shroud of Turin

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The Shroud of Turin

Post by Speculum »

I have just completed reading Report on The Shroud of Turin by John Heller. It is a fascinating, engrossing account of an extraordinary examination of the shroud by a team of scientists.

The book was written in 1984, which was before the shroud was carbon dated to the Middle Ages (although on that point some argue that the carbon dating may have been flawed because (1) carbon was added when the shroud was damaged by a fire in the 16th century, and (2) some patches were added to the shroud, which may have been what were carbon dated).

The team of scientists did not offer an opinion about whether or not the shroud is what it is claimed to be. However, they did confirm that it had wrapped the corpse of a man who had been scourged and crucified.

There is a great deal of science in the book, sometimes more than my layman’s mind cared to absorb.

But all the same, it is good story and well told.

For a Maine winter storm weekend, it was a great read.

As for me, I remain convinced that there was a 1st Century seeker named something like Issa (Iesus in Latin, Jesus in English) who achieved Self-Realization, and in his Teaching so frightened the existing religious authorities that they convinced the Roman authorities to punish and kill him, and that there evolved around and after him assorted groups and sects who created a life-story for him which confirmed and affirmed their pre-existing beliefs and expectations, and that finally one of those groups or sects managed to come out on top and crush all the others.
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust
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Re: The Shroud of Turin

Post by Georg »

The Shroud of Turin remains an enigma - even if there were a "test for Jesus" and it was positive, what would it prove?

If even the physical presence of Jesus was not enough for most to understand or change their lives, why should the historical "evidence"?

How evident must something be until I can be sure I'll not be overlooking it?

The answer is: it is not about the "evidence", but about openness - if I am not open I will search and find "evidence" enough for whatever belief.

Just to add some twist to what you said: most we learn about Jesus is about affirmations of pre-existing beliefs and expectations - of which we think they are our own.

Whenever I revisit my mind for something constant I find it lost in that labyrinth of thoughts and assumptions, beliefs and expectations ... no way out.

So it's not the mind and not "historical evidence" to ask for truth ...

Strange thing is, I am going to church on sunday and I am standing in front of a riddle ... and it's just fine, there couldn't be any more liberating experience. Though I only believe half of what is being said, I believe in the unknown that is being expressed in between the lines ... and that is more than enough, there couldn't be any more affirmation.
"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses" (Boethius)
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Re: The Shroud of Turin

Post by W4TVQ »

I am going to church on sunday and I am standing in front of a riddle ... and it's just fine, there couldn't be any more liberating experience. Though I only believe half of what is being said, I believe in the unknown that is being expressed in between the lines
A most familiar feeling to me as well. I really like my church; I paticipate actively, even to the extent of being a member of the vestry and in charge of adult education ... but I am not "in sync" with much of what is "traditional" doctr5ine. I am much like Bishop Pike in that respect: knowing he was a "rebel," an reporter asked him, "Can you say the creed?' and he replied, "No, but I can sing it." I do not conceive of the "presence of God" being contained in words, or in doctrines, or in ecclesiastical traditions. He's there, in the ritual. It could be in Chinese or Serbo-Croatiion, it wouldn't matter, it is the coprporate act of paying attention to God that makes Him evident to us. Paul noted that "we see through a glass, darkly." The corporate "goings on" of the parish are a sort of "glass cleaner" in that respect.

I recall a most remarkable experience that happened many years ago. I was walking home, on what I thought was a nice clear Florida day, when lightning struck a tree just yards from where I was. I could feel the "buzz" of the electricity, and of course was startled (to say the least). When I got inside, I put on a recording I had of the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgey, sung by the Don Cossack Choir in Russian, and could at that moment understand every single word as if i had been speaking Russian from birth. As the effect of the lightning wore off, so did the linguistic anomaly, and it was just "all Russian to me" from then on. I have held on to that experience as evidence that the "Word of God" does not necessarily communicate in dialectic form, but "speaks" directly to the spirit, in, as Paul said, "sighs to deep for words."

So i keep on going to church, and have no problem thinking I am walking the road what God intends for me to be walking at the moment, not projecting from my own circumstance to demand that anyone else do the same. the first day I walked into this church, I saw the white candle burning in front of the altar signifying the Sacrament, and it was God saying to me, "Hey, I'm here." To another, it would just say, "Look, a candle." God just deals with each of us as a unique being, and I suspect that that uniqueness will somehow be preserved forever, even as we recognize that there is really only one of us.
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley