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Report on the Shroud of Turin Hardcover – June 1, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0395339671 ISBN-10: 0395339677

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T) (June 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395339677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395339671
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,703,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This book lacks an index.
Acute Observer
He viewed his task concerning The Shroud with great scepticism; there have been far too many hoaxes in the world of religion.
Alexander R. Torok
A tiny amount of vermilion was found but it was not sufficient enough to prove the shroud was painted.
mwreview

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Demattei on February 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book over twelve years ago and my admiration for it has never waned. Unlike many Shroud of Turin theorists whose conclusions rely largely on speculation and/or anecdotal evidence, Dr. Heller is one of the very few people who have scientifically tested actual samples taken from the cloth. He conducted his experiments over a period of several years in an attempt to determine the chemical nature of the "blood" and "image", and how they got on the Shroud in the first place. How the image formed he never determined, but through chemical testing he found it to be the result of acid oxidation of the linen. The "blood" he concluded to be actual blood by over ten different tests including spectral analysis, and chemical identification of bile pigments and serum albumin. The book, however, is not all dry Science. It tells the funny and interesting story of Heller's involvement in the Shroud of Turin Research Project from beginning to end. He doesn't hold the you, the reader, at arm's length--he takes you right into lab itself revealing in detail not just the experiments that he and his collegues performed, but also something of their personalities and motivations. Many scientists and skeptics today either ignore or write off Heller's work in a few curt sentences, but Heller's use of control experiments to test and retest his conclusions give his work credibility. Whether the Shroud is real or fake makes no difference to me, but ANY source skeptical of the Shroud's authenticity who cannot or will not give a convincing, detailed, point-by-point refutation of Heller's conclusions I would consider suspect. Only when such a source comes forward (and I have not yet seen one to date) will the matter be settled in my mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Homer D Klong on November 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is old, I mean pre-1988 (when the carbon-dating of the Shroud took place), I think this book should still be required reading for those interested in the Shroud of Turin. Heller does a vivid job of telling how the STURP (Shroud of Turin Project, Inc.) team came into existence, and a detailed account of their examination of the Shroud in 1978. I came to this book with a negative view of the STURP team, gleaned from other books on the Shroud. But Heller shows what a tremendous job they did under unusual and often trying circumstances. Heller is a blood expert and after reading about his hundreds of tests, it makes one wonder why anyone would doubt that there is blood on the Shroud (as opposed to some sort of paint).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on December 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Report on the Shroud of Turin is the best book I have read so far on the famous cloth that allegedly contains an imprint of the crucified Christ. John Heller was a renown physicist who, along with other expert scientists, tested many samples of the original shroud gathered by a U.S. team of scientists who were invited to study the shroud in Turin in 1978. Heller was a self-professed skeptic of relics who had never even seen a picture of the shroud until 1978 and who was surprised to see an article about the subject in Science magazine. Intrigued by the challenge the Shroud offered, Heller read one of Ian Wilson's books on the subject and was alarmed by Wilson's "awful science" and the poor techniques used to check the shroud for blood. When given the opportunity, he jumped at the chance to do more appropriate tests on the shroud samples.

For a scientist, Heller writes in a surprisingly engaging style. He reveals the excitement he and his colleagues experienced when encountering a great new finding to the reader. It sometimes reads like a scientific detective story which, in a sense, it is. He also adds a lot of humor to the work. There are a lot of scientific terms and details in this book, but it is not bogged down by them and is still very enjoyable reading for non-scientific minds like myself. Heller's history of the shroud is very sparse but that is understandable in that he looks at hypotheses that can be tested and is frustrated by historical evidence that cannot be subjected to experiments. He did find historical evidence (however fuzzy) that the shroud was brought from east to west during the 4th crusade which I had not read before (pp. 68-72).

What strikes me is how well Heller responds to Joe Nickell's anti-authenticity work Inquest on the Shroud of Turin.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexander R. Torok on April 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have had the honour and priviledge of working in Dr. Heller's institute, working under his tutelage and with his team.
Heller, while a man of science, was nevertheless a devout man (Southern Baptist). He viewed his task concerning The Shroud with great scepticism; there have been far too many hoaxes in the world of religion.
The book describes in great detail the events leading up to the team's conviction that the Shroud was genuine; last - not least - being Heller and Adler's verification of "heme" (blood) and the inexplicable "burned image" of the crucified man.
Although carbon dating indicates that the image is not 2000 years old and that the cloth is from the Middle Ages, there is not enough evidence to diosprove Heller's assertion that the Shroud is indeed genuine.
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