Dennis Dutton on authenticity
Denis Dutton in the Michigan Quarterly Review; a review of two books, 1) Report on the Shroud of Turin, by John H. Heller. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983 and 2) Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, by Joe Nickell. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1983:
One such shroud, the one which now resides in a
reliquary in the Turin Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, is different
from most of the others in that it features a full-length front-and-back
image of the crucified Jesus. To the modern mind, the existence of the
image ought in itself to have ruled out any possibility of authenticity.
But in 1898 a man named Secondo Pia managed to photograph the cloth for
the first time. Much to his astonishment (he almost dropped the wet
plate), in negative the image of the Shroud revealed itself to be a
remarkably lifelike representation of Jesus. It was argued then, as now,
that no medieval artist could have known how to produce such a perfect
negative image, and that therefore the Shroud cannot be a forgery.