Shroud EncounterSHROUD ENCOUNTER comes to UMass Amherst! The program is a big screen multi-media presentation and has been seen at Duke, Pennsylvania State, Johns Hopkins, and many more.
The Shroud of Turin is the most analyzed artifact in the world yet remains a mystery. Is it the burial cloth of Jesus or is it nothing more than a medieval hoax? Shroud Encounter is a highly acclaimed exploration into the mystery and covers all aspects of investigation.
Please consider offering students Extra Credit to attend.
The subject is fully multidisciplinary:
Science: Includes a discussion of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, a team of 40 scientists and the results of their hands-on analysis. Tests performed include Photo-microscopy, x-radiography, spectroscopy from infrared to ultraviolet, particle analysis, blood chemistry, textile analysis, forensic pathology, and others. What was learned about the nature of the image? Are there substances on the cloth such as paint or dye? Is the blood real or is it some kind of pigment? What does modern botany reveal about pollens and flower images found on the cloth? What does carbon dating reveal?
History: (with emphasis on Byzantine era and the Crusades) Where does the historical trail lead? Was the cloth in Constantinople in 1204 and stolen during the 4th Crusade? Were the Knights Templar involved? What arrived in Constantinople in 944 with great fanfare? What was discovered in Edessa in 525 that transformed Byzantine culture? How far back does the idea of an image on linen go? What is the Legend of Abgar as recorded by Eusebius, the official historian for Constantine?
Art: (with emphasis on the Byzantine era) What is the “Image of Edessa” and how did it influence Sacred Art? What are medieval art techniques and do they line up with modern chemical analysis of pigments and paint mediums? What is the significance of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript, a drawing from a codex dated to 1192? What does the artwork of eleventh century chronicler, John of Skylitzes reveal?
Religion: What are Jewish burial practices? How is the shroud referenced in Scripture? Are there inconsistencies? Can they be resolved? What is the role of the Shroud in Byzantine liturgical and iconographic tradition?
Science and History Wrapped in a Mystery!
It is not very often a topic covers so many different academic disciplines. Shroud Encounter is a fast moving presentation and unfolds like a CSI investigation as clues from every area are examined to unravel this profound mystery. The audience will not be bored. Descriptions of Shroud Encounter include, “Riveting,” “Gripping,” and “Fascinating.”
The Shroud of Turin can never be proven through science to be authentic and no such claim is made. There is evidence on both sides of the authenticity debate and both sides are presented. It is a mystery in the same category as the Pyramids or Stonehenge, which continue to defy an easy explanation.
Russ Breault is founder and president of The Shroud of Turin Education Project, inc. and has researched and lectured on the Shroud for over 25 years. He is a member of the Shroud Science Group and has addressed the American Chemical Society along with presentations at Duke, Penn State, Cal State, West Point and many others. He has participated in nearly every international conference on the subject since 1981 and has been a featured expert on numerous national documentaries.