Join us as we explore the mystery behind the sacred cloth.
For hundreds of years, the Turin Shroud has captivated millions of people, some who treasure it as a sacred relic; others who think it an interesting scientific mystery, but with no spiritual significance.
So which is it, and why has the Turin Shroud held people in thrall – believers and non-believers alike? After all, on the surface, it is just a piece of cloth with the image of a man on it – a man who appears to have been crucified. That, of course, has led millions of people to believe that the Shroud of Turin is actually a shroud that was wrapped around Jesus(as) after his crucifixion. And if that is the case, the Shroud would undoubtedly be held sacred by dedicated Christians everywhere.
But what is intriguing about the Shroud is that it also holds great interest to non-believers. One of the most mysterious aspects is the question of how the image on the Shroud was formed. And the reason that this remains mysterious is because, despite numerous attempts to recreate the image on the Shroud using various methods, nobody to date has been able to recreate an image which has all the properties that the Shroud does.
One example: the image on the Shroud is ‘three-dimensional’ in that the parts of the face furthest from the Shroud are the lightest parts of the image, and those closest to the image are darker. This is, in fact, what got photographer Barrie Schwortz interested in the Shroud in the first place. In 1978, the previous owner of the Shroud of Turin asked a team of scientists to do scientific testing and analysis on the Shroud. Schwortz was asked to photograph and document the team’s efforts on this historical project, in the process sparking his life-long interest in the Shroud. As a photographer, he was intimately aware of the properties of image formation and the Shroud’s unique properties captured his interest. For the last forty years, Schwortz has traveled around the world, educating people on the Shroud’s properties and advocating for further study.
While Schwortz’s fascination is with scientific mystery, for Pam Moon, the Shroud holds deep religious significance. Her passion for the Shroud has taken form in 2008, and she has one of the only life-size models of the Turin Shroud, along with replicas of ancient relics. She, too, has spent the last few decades giving lectures and putting on exhibits to educate others on the spiritual significance of the Shroud.
As longtime readers know, The Review of Religions has held an annual exhibition about the Turin Shroud for the last four years, and this year will be no different. Along with Schwortz and Moon and her helpful team of knowledgeable volunteers, we will also be welcoming numerous Shroud scholars and experts, who will be there throughout to share their knowledge, their expertise, and their enthusiasm for this ancient relic. Members of the public will have the unique opportunity to engage with them in both formal and informal sessions to discuss the scientific and historical evidence and significance of the Shroud.
A full lineup of guests:
- For the first time, we will be welcoming Professor Peter Wadhams to Turin Shroud exhibition. Professor Wadhams is a member of the official Scientific Commission on the Shroud in Turin.
- Barrie Schwortz, official documenting photographer of the Shroud of Turin
- Pam Moon, a Shroud researcher who will be bringing her always-popular exhibit, including a rare life-size replica of the actual Shroud
- Bruno Barberis, Former President of the Scientific Committee of the International Centre of Sindonology of Turin, and Vice President of the Confraternity of the Holy Shroud of Turin
- Emmanuela Marinelli, who has written extensively on the scientific authenticity of the Shroud, including on attempts to identify how old it is through carbondating.
- David Rolfe, BAFTA award winning British filmmaker, Shroud scholar and director of the first ever Shroud documentary, 1977’s The Silent Witness
Join us this year August 2-4 as we discuss the Shroud. For information on the exhibition please visit http://www.rorexhibition.org
About the Author: Nakasha Ahmad was previously an Adjunct Lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and a Graduate Assistant at Bowling Green State University. She currently serves as the Assistant Editor of The Review of Religions.