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But in fact, it is simply historical ignorance of what the shroud really is (or at least, what it pur-ports to be) that leads these people to wrongheaded notions.
The Shroud of Turin is not, by definition, a work of art but instead belongs to the long and revered tradition of sacred objects that are at once relics and icons.
"It doesn't look like any known work of art," they say.
The implication is that its creation was somehow miraculous, perhaps caused by a sudden burst of cosmic energy as the cloth came into contact with the dead body of Jesus.
Stephen Mattingly - Previously unpublished response to the article "A Letter to Hershel Shanks, Editor of BAR" by Dr.
But two of BAR's savvy readers have objected to our assessment.
The following articles suggest there is no reason to doubt that the image, as well as the cloth, was produced in the Middle Ages.- Ed (BAR) Nothing puzzles and intrigues the sindonologist - the student of the Shroud of Turin - more than the supposed mystery of how the image on the shroud was made.
Alan Whanger - Previously unpublished response to the article When the Shroud of Turin went on display this spring for the first time in 20 years, it made the cover of Time magazine with the blurb "Is this Jesus?
" In BAR, we summarized the controversy that has enshrouded this relic, venerated for centuries as the burial cloth of Jesus ("Remains to Be Seen," Strata, Julyl August 1998, p 13).