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The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection Hardcover – April 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953654
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Some people will dismiss [THE SIGN]. Some people will be intrigued by it. And some people may change their attitudes on one thing or another by it."
-Harold Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School, as told to CBS “Sunday Morning”


"Fascinating...startling."
-Telegraph


"A fresh insight into the Easter story." --Financial Times



"Thorough, well-researched and fair-minded... Persuasive... much more than just an addition to the canon of Shroud literature."
-Irish Times

About the Author

Thomas de Wesselow is an art historian experienced at tackling “unsolvable” problems. He studied art history at Edinburgh University and at the Courtauld in London, where he worked successfully on the Guidoriccio Problem, one of the great mysteries of Italian art. Later, he became a Scholar at the British School in Rome, researching an even more complex puzzle, the so-called Assisi Problem. In 2002, he was appointed a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at King’s College, Cambridge University. Since 2007 he has been researching the Shroud full-time. He lives in Cambridge.

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Customer Reviews

I got tired of the authors narrow mind and did noy read the whole book.
dusty
Unless, of course, that theory is not as potentially convincing as Mr. De Wesselow would have us readers believe.
Richard Masloski
I found de Wesselow's treatment of the blood on the Shroud to be especially strong, if a bit gruesome reading.
Danusha V. Goska

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 70 people found the following review helpful By DAV on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Preordered and delivered to my Kindle Fire the day of its release (4/3), I couldn't put it down any free moment I have had this past week until I finished it today. It is an elegant, learned, fascinating read which succeeds, I think, in establishing that, from an art historian's point of view, the Shroud of Turin cannot be a medievally produced piece of art. His cataloguing of the shroud's unusual characteristics and review of the history of its evaluation by scientists and art historians is also engaging and convincing. His treatment of the carbon dating of the shroud is less thorough, in my estimation, but his evaluation of the technique itself as malleable and imprecise is valid, it seems.

He has obviously immersed himself in current New Testament scholarship, and points to and quite deftly handles many fascinating issues scholars raise and address, eg. the inconsistency of the Easter morning reports, the accounts' clearly illustrating the political debates in the early Church of who saw what first, and where, and when. His total failure, however, lies in his attempt to address NT scholar and English bishop N. T Wright's initially quoted challenge to explain the resurrection in a way that explains all its historical results (betrayers turning into defiant martyrs, the meteoric rise of Christianity around the Mediterranean basin in such a short time, and the continued existence of Christianity) without resorting to the two basic foundations of Christianity's twin claim on what its belief in Jesus' resurrection is based: discovery of an empty (corpseless) tomb and convincing appearances.

Here is where learned and engaging and convincing gives way to preposterous and untenable.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Paglierani on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having already read far too many religious-relic, "truth revealed" books, I approached this one with caution. In the end though, I was pleasantly surprised. This one is well written, comprehensive, logical, and thought provoking.
Does it prove without doubt that the shroud is authentic? Not really. I'm not sure this will ever be possible. But what it does do is a good job of discrediting the debunkers, as well as making an equally credible albeit largely circumstantial case for that there are too many coincidences for the shroud to be fake.
Perhaps what I enjoyed the most though was de Wesselow's non-judgmentally scientific professional attitude. Indeed, this book is worth reading even if all you're interested in is an overview of the kind of infighting, bad science, and biased claims these investigations provoke.
Steven Paglierani
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By New Lit Fan on April 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My full (now i have finished reading it) review first: the positives. A well written, imaginative, well-argued book from a fresh perspective tackling a "hobby" interest of mine: the turin shroud. A very entertaining book - not as wow! wierd! sensationalist as some of the papers suggest. I'm a history channel addict, what can i say! Thomas de-wesslow's rumination - that what sparked christianity was the resurrection as seen in a cloth - is an oddball claim, BUT he pieces together evidence from an artist's point of view. I wanted to not believe it - it sounds plainly daft. But reader, he makes a cogent, convincing argument and having now researched "animism" in Graham Harvey's excellent book on the topic, i'm impelled to believe him. It isnt one of "those" fantastical books on the turin shroud...although his belief that it was the cloth of Jesus and not a fake is still bothering me. And this perhaps is the book's biggest problem - his positivistic arguments sway me but do not convince me. this is after all an unprovable claim - unless more tests are allowed.

As a side note, can i say how disappointed i am to see the author charles freeman leaving his "review" of the book on this site as well as the uk site? i say review - it does read like a plug for his books/soapbox for his own theory! What i find very odd is that he is leaving comments all over the place on different sites, and has even taken to task anyone who leaves a vaguely positive review (i am of course expecting it..). Write a negative review of course, but do not bully others please who disagree with you. This is a book review site not a place for internet trolls. It ill-behoves an author like you. I wonder if he has a personal dislike of the author? Having said that - and if indeed it is the real charles freeman - i will take mr freeman's comments on the book on board. They do not however change my mind on this book: if you have an open mind, i highly recommend this book
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Marshall on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of things I appreciate about Thomas De Wesselow is the naivite with which he tells his story. (Or expounds his theory -- The Sign is argument composed of interwoven threads of personal, scientific, and religious narrative -- a bit like the Shroud itself.)

At the beginning of Part IV, DW tells us about the distress he felt upon realizing, as a secular person, that the Shroud seemed to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus:

"One hot, bright morning in the early summer of 2004 I ambled out into the orchard behind my house in Cambridge, lay down on the grass and immersed myself in The Turin Shroud by Ian Wilson. Overhead, white blossoms clustered along the sparse branches of the apple tree in whose shade I settled . . . "

Just like Newton and his apple tree! Or perhaps Eve:

"As an agnostic . . . I was extremely uncomfortable with the with the idea that the Shroud might be an authentic marvel . . . I couldn't avoid the conclusion: from a purely historical point of view, the death and burial of Jesus seemed to be the best explanation for the Shroud.

"For a skeptical agnostic, this was a suffocating thought . . . It was as if the Shroud, backed by the vast weight of Christian tradition, was pressing down on me, threatening to stifle my secular worldview. Instead of enjoying a quiet lull in the summer sun, I found myself battling with a fierce metaphysical adversary, like Jacob wrestling with the angel." (192)

Thomas' story combines, to this point, motifs of conversion -- "It is hard for you to kick against the goads" -- with a classic story of scientific enlightenment. The scientific motif seems to win out:

"It was then that I glimpsed, for the first time, the potential significance of the relic . . .
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