ExoTheology & Space-Age Interpretations of the Bible

(religious implications of an inhabited universe)

Category Archives: Shroud of Turin

“If the Shroud is real then maybe the Resurrection was really a physical, bodily, historically factual event.”

Excellently written article on the shroud: The Shroud of Turin and the Resurrection Problem: an Anglican/Episcopal perspective.

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But what if the Shroud is first century cloth? What if it is Jesus’ burial cloth? I am a theologically liberal thinking person — brought up on Bishop Robinson’s Honest to God and now an avid reader of Marcus Borg — and I accept many thing in the Bible that are scientifically or historically implausible as something of a metaphor. For me, these questions about the Shroud’s authenticity were daunting. For no matter how I might try to separate the mysterious and inexplicable image on the Shroud from my metaphorical interpretations of the Resurrection, I could not do so. The image and the event seemed interconnected. Scientists who study the Shroud are better at making the separation by stressing that science can only go so far in explaining things. But I lack their scholarly methodical restraint. My imagination takes over and I wonder if the image was formed by the act of resurrection. If the Shroud is real then maybe the Resurrection was really a physical, bodily, historically factual event. Metaphorical thinking about the Resurrection was challenged. [emphasis mine]

[…]

If we are to accept the evidence concerning the Shroud, and thousands do, we should recognize that it is science and history confronting and challenging the prevailing worldview that unnatural things don’t happen. For those who are scientifically inclined, it may seem like an Alice in Wonderland nightmare. The evidence seemingly gives credence to the “the postmodern contention” — as historian Joseph Ellis describes postmodernism — “that no such thing as objective truth exists, that historical reality is an inherently enigmatic and endlessly negotiable bundle of free- floating perceptions.” The Shroud is important because it challenges what we may believe about the Resurrection. It challenges extant historical and biblical scholarship. It challenges two centuries of historical and theological progress in the scholarly “quest” for the historical Jesus. It challenges the discourse on science and religion. And as Pope John Paul II states — a man keenly aware of intellectual dilemma — the Shroud of Turin “challenges our intelligence.” [emphasis mine]

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