Greenville, SC, January 11, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Since it was first viewed in Lirey, France in the mid-14th century, the purported burial cloth of Jesus as a religious artifact has come under condemnation and weathered scrutiny, from both religious and scientific circles. Today, more than six centuries later, new clues and revelations concerning the winding sheet known as the Shroud of Turin continue to draw skeptics and believers alike into discussions over its place as a relic worthy of veneration.
Initial sample studies in the 1980s of fiber samples taken from the Sindon by three independent laboratories, supplemented by Radiocarbon testing, indicated that the Shroud was a Medieval forgery, created sometime between 1250 and 1375 A.D. Whether it was a rubbing, scorching, or painting created during a time when such practices as the fabrication of religious artifacts was fairly common, none could say.
Author Dallas Tanner, after months of intensive research for his fourth novel, "The Shroud", reserved judgment even as new information came to light during its writing. "I always seek to enlighten, as well as entertain", Tanner insists. "In this case, I was looking for an adventure and possible explanation that would fit the facts," he said. As he has already discovered, everyone it seems has an opinion on the matter, and they don't necessarily agree with the author's theory.
"Although I don't believe that the carbon dating tests prove any more than the fact the shroud was repaired after the first of 2 fires to which it was subjected (1532 and 1997), in 2002 the backing and patches were removed. It was an explanation for the creation of the Sindon, although I felt it overlooked the Shroud's biblical timeline. 'What if', I conjectured, the 1898 first photograph of the Shroud was indeed a positive, the negative of a negative, as many claim. If it were instead a recreation during the Renaissance of the late 15th century using a primitive camera and a cloth even then 100-150 years old, who could accomplish such a feat, and for whom? That simple question led me on an 18 month journey of discovery, on a variety of subjects relative to the Shroud of Turin," Dallas recently commented.
To unravel a mystery in a fictional novel with as many twists and turns as that of the many historical figures whose lives were touched and even changed by its possession, Tanner looked to a wide range of resources. He discovered that it not only had different names during its various incarnations, but also a counterpart in the only other woven cloth present at the death and resurrection of Christ. "The greatest revelation in the book is not whether the Shroud of Turin is real or not, but whether the one we know today is the one remembered in antiquity and canonized scripture.
"The timeline and its physicality are both supported by a second linen, which does in fact exist and has been studied, although primarily on its own merits, rather than its relationship to the Shroud. Still, it shares 70 points of articulation and alignment with the face on the Shroud, as well as the type and trail of blood and serum," the author stated. So, what is this potentially explosive secret which binds the two together, not only as corroborating evidence to the authenticity of both, but as the source of the most enduring legendary artifact in literature?
Tanner isn't saying, except that the unraveling of the Shroud of Turin will likely never have an end. "As with Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code', people are already divided over its claims, regardless of whether or not they ever read the book. To a far lesser extent, where Brown's novel put the burden of proof on religion, I place it squarely on science. To me, there was a specific point in history where the Shroud went from a threadbare cloth with an image clearly visible, to a more durable facsimile wherein the figure was far less plain. It doesn't meant that the original is not out there somewhere, or even in Turin itself. Political ambition played into its ownership, as well as the meteoric rise and tremendous fall of any who sought to possess it," he explained.
The debate over these and other aspects of the Shroud of Turin, as well as details brought forth in Mr. Tanner's novel, has already begun. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, the intent has always been to enlighten and entertain, rather than convince or convert. He concluded our interview by saying that "The best part of any story is that it plays out differently in the mind of every reader, as far as where he stands in relation to its conclusion or moral. In the case of 'The Shroud', to make you think that this could be yet another possible explanation for the burial cloth of Christ, will hopefully make it worthwhile."
"The Shroud" was written by Dallas Tanner, published by Trilogus Books, and available at Amazon.com in both paperback and digital editions. You can read more about the author, this and his other works at http://www.dallastanner.com, and http://www.trilogus.com.