Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wilson's Shroud

Finished reading Ian Wilson’s The Blood and the Shroud last night, and, well, I was impressed. Quite readable, highly informative, obviously well-researched, I couldn’t put the thing down, which frankly surprised me. I read it during my lunch break, I read it waiting for dinner to cook, I read it while the little ones were in the bath tub, I read it until past midnight most nights this week. Verdict: A.

More importantly, it nudged my believability-in-the-Shroud’s-genuiness over from 75-25 to 90-10. Primarily through his methodical casting-of-doubt upon the 1988 carbon dating research and secondarily through his overall even-handedness. No one’s a bad guy in Wilson’s book, even the bad guys (from a pro-Shroud point of view, that is). I believe, independent of Wilson’s writings, that there was an agenda to carbon-date the Shroud to the mid-fourteenth century, thus proving it a “fraud.” After reading Wilson’s level and reasoned reasonings why a 2,000-year-old cloth could be erroneously dated to c. 1350 AD, my faith in the relic solidified.

Perhaps a post later down the road on the carbon dating, or perhaps the history of the Shroud (at least according to Ian Wilson). Right now I don’t feel qualified to write on the topic, simply because I don’t feel that I’ve internalized the subject enough. Truth be told I’m feeling an itch to read the 314-page hardcover over again. In fact, the final 60 pages are a chronology of the Shroud, almost year-by-year, from the death of Christ to 1998, the date of the book’s publication. Whatever you may think of him, Wilson is always thorough.

I took Patch with me this morning to a used book store and found another book of his, Holy Faces, Secret Places, for 96 cents. (This in a store where Stieg Larsson papercraps still sell for ten times that much, such is our culture.) Picked it up because it does contain pages of info on the Shroud of Turin and the Cloth of Edessa, which, according to Wilson’s main theory, are the same. I’ll get to that, too, later in the month.

Also, Wilson’s 1978 book The Shroud of Turin is now on my Acquisitions List.

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