The Shroud of Turin
The History and Legends of the World's Most Famous Relic
524 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 10 B&W photos and 13 B&W illustrations
- Published: March 2020
Shrouds have long held a special place among the sacred relics of Christendom. In the Middle Ages, shrouds, like holy relics, were the prize possessions of churches and cities.
Cloaked in mystery, these artifacts have long been objects of reverence and awe, as well as sources of debates, quarrels, thefts, and excommunications. Shrouds—so some claim—provide visible testimony to faith. One in particular has drawn the interest of scholars, clergy, and the public alike: the Shroud of Turin.
In The Shroud of Turin, Andrea Nicolotti chronicles the history of this famous cloth, including its circuitous journey from the French village of Lirey to its home in the Italian city of Turin, as well as the fantastical claims surrounding its origin and modern scientific efforts to prove or disprove its authenticity.
Full of intrigue and mystery, The Shroud of Turin dismantles hypotheses that cannot survive the rigors of historical analysis. Nicolotti directly addresses the thorny problem of the authenticity of the relic and the difficult relationship between history, faith, and science.
Introduction to the English Edition
1 One The Birth and Development of a Cult
1.1 The Fate of Jesus’ Burial Cloths
1.2 Medieval Shrouds and Sudariums
2 The Shroud of Lirey-Chambéry-Turin
2.2 Passage of the Shroud’s Ownership
3 The Shroud in Piedmont
3.1 The Early Days of the Shroud in Turin
3.2 Between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
4 The Shroud and Modernity
4.1 Science and History
4.2 The Fragility of the Hard Sciences
4.3 Between Monarchy and Republic
4.4 The Postconciliar Period
5 The Creation of a Myth
5.1 A Rebirth
5.2 The Invention of a Story
5.3 The Era of Radiocarbon
5.4 A Revival in the Third Millennium
Andrea Nicolotti’s The Shroud of Turin is a first class historian’s analysis of the fraught history of the appearance of the Shroud of Turin in the medieval period, its various travels before reaching Turin, the creation of the myth of authenticity, and the radiocarbon analysis of its medieval fabric. This is the serious historian’s counterpart to The Da Vinci Code.~John S. Kloppenborg, University Professor and Chair of Religion, University of Toronto
Andrea Nicolotti has meticulously and proficiently reconstructed events involving the Shroud up to the present day. [It] is a fine book, an exemplary evidence of the value of historical research.~Adriano Prosperi, Professor of Modern History, Scuola Normale Superiore and Member of the Lincean Academy
This book constitutes the very best analysis of the history of the Shroud of Turin and of other competing shrouds, from antiquity to the present day. Relying on a complete reexamination of the documented evidence, this work is a masterpiece in its use of the methods of historical criticism. It is an antidote to the devotional and pseudoscientific literature put in circulation by those who believe in the authenticity of the relic.~Fr. Pier Angelo Gramaglia, Professor Emeritus of Patrology, Theological University of Northern Italy
Nicolotti’s book is destined to remain for a long time the most complete historiographical assessment on the subject, but also provides some food for thought. For one whose faith is honestly understood, it ought not constitute an obstacle if the historical-archival sciences, the history of weaving, and radiocarbon dating lead to conclusions that appear to point to the unavoidable interpretation that the Shroud of Turin cannot have come to us from the funereal garb of Christ.~Fr. Francesco Pieri, Professor of Church History, Theological Faculty of Emilia Romagna
The author of this book deserves enormous credit inasmuch as he has inspected everything of significance that has been published to this point and has personally checked the documents present in the archives of the Vatican, Italy, and France, where he also sought out new documents. The book should be recommended to all those who do not wish to be deceived by the numerous current publications in defense of the authenticity of the Turin Shroud.~Msgr. Armando Rolla, Professor Emeritus of Holy Scripture, Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Southern Italy
Andrea Nicolotti’s book is a work in which the author succeeds with masterful measure and proficiency in the far from simple task of combining questions of the past with the reality of the present. In his informed use of investigative tools drawn from diverse disciplines and fields, the author deploys a refined research technique and an intellectual sensibility, in so doing revealing a rare breadth of approach.~Pier Giorgio Zunino, Member of the Academy of Sciences of Turin