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Inquest on the Shroud of Turin: Latest Scientific Findings Paperback – July 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Subsequent edition (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573922722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573922722
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Nickell has been called "the modern Sherlock Holmes" and "the real-life Scully" (from the X-Files). He has been on the trail of mysterious creatures and phenomena for four decades. Since 1995 he has been the world’s only full-time, professional, science-based paranormal investigator. His careful, often-innovative investigations have won him international respect in a field charged with controversy. He is the author of numerous books, including most recently Tracking the Man Beasts; Real or Fake? Studies in Authentication; and Adventures in Paranormal Investigation. Among his other books are Psychic Sleuths, Looking for a Miracle, and Secrets of the Supernatural. See www.joenickell.com for more.

More About the Author

Joe Nickell has been called "the modern Sherlock Holmes." Since 1995 he has been the world's only full-time, professional, science-based paranormal investigator. His careful, often innovative investigations have won him international respect in a field charged with controversy.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I expected Joe Nickell's case against the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin to be a snide and nasty affair. But it is surprisingly even-tempered, poking large holes in the cases of the defenders of Shroud authenticity. In this book, Nickell (and his panel of scientific experts) critically examine the claims of Shroud backers. Against those who feel the Shroud was formed in a burst of radiation (supposedly from the Resurrection) Nickell asserts the common sense conclusion that this radiation, if it was to make a clear image, would have to travel only in the direction of the cloth, and not out to the sides. Against those who claim that no medieval technique is known that could account for the image's formation, Nickell gives examples of rubbing techniques--during and prior to the medieval period--that were available to artists of the 14th century. Against those who claim that the image on the cloth is an anatomically perfect depiction of a crucified man, Nickell lays out the case for the image's imperfections: one arm is longer than the other, and the blood trickles are depicted as lying atop the hair, rather then seeping from it.

On the negative side, Nickell's book is the "he said" against the "she said" of other book on the Shroud. Is Walter McCrone biased toward finding paint (as STURP - the Shroud Research group claims) or (as Nickell claims) are his findings of paint pigments and tempera binder the key to solving the Shroud mystery? Did McCrone return the sticky tape samples (Nickell) or did he violate scientific protocol by hogging them (STURP's Heller)?
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Carruthers on October 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Let me resurrect an old cliche & say that "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin" is good news and bad news. The good new is that several of the chapters are very strong, providing compelling reasons to discount the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the burial cloth of Jesus. I think the most enlightening chapter was at the beginning of the book & dealt with the provenance of the shroud. It was clear from its origin in 1355 that the cloth was a fraud. The early provenance shows that the only medieval contemporaries who did not discount the shroud as a fake were those who were profiting from displaying it to pilgrims in return for alms. Bishop Pierre D'Arcis wrote an investigation report stating that the shroud is a painting, & this fact was attested to by the artist who painted it. Even the pope discounted its authenticity when he issued a bull directing it could only be displayed as a "representation" and not as an authentic relic. It is amusing to think that the medieval mind had clearer insight into the shroud's bona fides than many modern minds.
Another strong chapter is the one that deals with the research of Walter McCrone. (...) In any event, McCrone concludes the shroud bears traces of paint pigment (as predicted by the provenance) & that proteins on the shroud are not blood but rather the paint medium tempra. What do you call a piece of cloth with paint pigment & paint medium on it? McCrone and Nickell conclude that it is a painting (as one might expect).
Now for the bad news: "Inquest" suffers from several weaknesses. Many of the chapters become lost in technical detail which I think detract from the strength of the overall argument. Why make a subtle argument when there is an obvious argument to be made that is more compelling?
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on December 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Inquest on the Shroud of Turin by Joe Nickell is a clear, concise, 155-page work explaining the evidence that refutes the authenticity of the 3 1/2' x 14' cloth that allegedly covered the body of Christ after crucifixion and bears his image. Nickell's work is one-sided. He believes the shroud was created by an artist near the time it was first publicly introduced around 1353. He picks apart (sometimes in a mocking manner) the evidence shroud believers use to prove authenticity. As Nickell states at the beginning of the book, his collaboration with a panel of scientific and technical experts accomplishes equal time for the skeptics. According to Nickell, many reports on the shroud are done by pro-authenticity investigators who lack objectivity (p. 8). Mentions made in this book about Roman anatomist Dr. Luigi Gedda who, detecting a slump in the right shoulder of the image, deduced that the image was of a right-handed carpenter (p. 109) and the story of how renown microanalyst Walter McCrone was "drummed out" of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) for publicizing his findings of iron earth pigment on the blood stains and body image (p. 125) seem to back up his claims of bias accounts of the shroud's authenticity. I do not recommend reading only this one book on the shroud because it is too one-sided (any of the books by Ian Wilson would make a good companion) but I also do not think that, because Nickell has an agenda, this book should be discounted. Whether you believe, are skeptical, or are just curious, Nickell makes excellent cases for his side of the issue.Read more ›
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