- Need to do a research paper?
- Doing a presentation for speech?
- Do you need a project for art, history or science?
If you are a student planning a project, we can publish your paper in the Student Papers section we just added. You will be sent an email notification of when it is posted so you can reference it. Just send us a copy of your project as a MS Word attachment to email@example.com . You can then tell others where to find it!
Use the images found in the Shroud Image Gallery to spice up your presentation via print or with Power Point. Just copy and paste. Permission is granted as long as it is for acedemic use.
Check out the "Resource" section in Shroud 101 for a complete list of books in the English language available through Amazon.com
Be sure to check out Shroud University for links to other websites that deal with many of the subjects listed below.
There are numerous books available. However, be sure to get The Shroud: A Guide by Gino Moretto. It is an excellent primer, great pictures and lots of them, and best of all is a huge color fold out of the Shroud suitable for framing and a great way for pointing things out to your class or just friends. Get this book before it goes out of print.
There are many Shroud related topics. Here are a few:
carbon dating controversy | medical forensics | crucifixion | great mysteries | christian apologetics | relics and icons | theological ramifications | christian history | byzantine christianity | knights templar | the crusades | medieval art
The controversy over Carbon 14 dating is heating up to a fever pitch. Latest research shows that the carbon dating labs totally blew it in 1988 by taking only one sample from an area of the cloth that was most likely repaired in 1534 following the near catastrophic fire in 1532. They were supposed to cut from three different locations, not just one. They did not follow the protocol established for the tests. They were supposed to do micro-chemical analysis of the sample to make sure it was representative of the entire Shroud. They didn't do this either. Now the research shows that what they dated was in fact a medieval re-weave. See Latest Shroud News for more info.
Here are some student project ideas related to the dating controversy:
- How good science can go bad . By not following established protocols, the carbon dating labs arrived at conclusion with a “confidence factor of 95%” based on a bad sample. How could this happen? Delve into the intrigue and see how the whole thing was botched. See The Shroud of Turin and the C14 Dating Fiasco by Thomas Case.
- How politics plays a role in science . The carbon dating labs have a lot on the line. They are well funded and politically connected. How will they handle the new evidence that exposes their folly? Will they try to suppress the evidence? Will they try to impugn Ray Roger’s credibility as a scientist? How will they implement damage control? See Harry Gove’s book for an expose on what happened in 1988, Relic, Icon or Hoax? Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud. Harry Gove is the inventor of the nuclear accelerator that was used to carbon date the Shroud.
- How science must be a synthesis of evidence . The carbon dating results overshadowed the Shroud for 17 years because it was considered a litmus test. The medieval date flew in the face of other evidence, but it didn’t matter because to most scientists carbon 14 dating is like DNA, it doesn’t lie. Unless of course you have the wrong DNA! In the end carbon 14 must be taken in context with other evidence and not to the exclusion of everything else known about the subject.
Do a paper on the medical forensics involved with the Shroud. All the wounds are just that, wounds and the blood is actual blood from those wounds. The man died from hypovolemic shock. There are blood flows that are clearly post mortem and others that must have occurred while still alive on the cross. All the wounds of crucifixion are present and completely line up with the biblical account. A Doctor at Calvary by Dr Pierre Barbet is a classic. Also important is The Cross and the Shroud: A Medical Inquiry into the Crucifixion by Fred Zugibe.
Include the Shroud in a paper on crucifixion and other methods of torture and execution through the ages. The Shroud is a detailed account of what happens. The same discussion can also cover how the crucifixion of Jesus was totally distinctive as compared to other known crucifixions, which is why the man on the Shroud is most likely Jesus and not just anybody who happened to be crucified, i.e. crown of thorns, wound in the side, severe scourging, legs not broken, a rich man’s shroud for a criminal’s burial and more. The above books would be good resources for this discussion also.
Include the Shroud as part of a paper on other great mysteries including the Pyramids, Easter Island, and Stonehenge etc.
Discuss the Shroud as one of many potential evidences for faith, i.e. Christian apologetics such as archaeological supports, prophetic fulfillment etc. The shroud was the first piece of evidence found by Peter and John (John 20:1-8) and caused them to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Mary thought the body was stolen. What did they see that Mary didn’t? The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus is a good primer. Numerous others can be found at Amazon.com
Do a paper on the role of relics and icons in the church. Show how Catholicism may have put too much emphasis on relics and icons in centuries past to where many may want to distance themselves from it today. But at the same time the Protestant Reformation discounted all consideration of relics to where any and all were dismissed. Perhaps there is a middle road. Unlike the bones of some saint or an alleged piece of the cross, nothing bears testable evidence like the Shroud of Turin. Holy Faces, Secret Places by Ian Wilson has some insight into this topic. Also check out Relics: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of Januarius...History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church by Joan Caroll Cruz.
Do a paper on the theological ramifications of the Shroud. What if the Shroud is truly authentic? What is the message? What is the significance? See articles in Shroud University under the "Dept of Philosophy".
Consider a paper that uses the Shroud as a way of tracing Christian history. It originates in first century, then is taken to Edessa and becomes the prototype for all Byzantine Icons. It moves onto Constantinople in 944 and is then stolen during the Crusades in 1204. It is kept by the Knights Templar and then shows up in France. The trail ends in Turin, Italy. It starts with the Jews, then it becomes a Byzantine relic, then an Eastern Orthodox relic, then a Catholic relic, and is finally revealed to Protestant America through science. All three branches of Christianity are involved. What a story! The "bible" of Shroud history is The Turin Shroud by Ian Wilson. It is not available on Amazon but numerous copies can be found at Bookfinder.com. Use this book as your primary source for articles below as well.
Do a paper on Byzantine Christianity and how the Shroud influenced the beginning of images and icons that permeate the Eastern Church. How the Catholic "Veronica" cloth may have been an adaptation of the Edessa image that was known throughout Byzantium as the "True Likeness". In Latin, Vera Icon was transliterated into "Veronica".
Do a paper on the mysterious Knights Templar, how they might have been the protectors of the Shroud after its disappearance from Constantinople in 1204. The Templars are a fascinating subject and the Shroud can be woven into the story. When they were finally deposed by the King of France and the Pope in 1307, two leaders were burned at the stake for heresy. What was their heresy? They worshiped a mysterious image. Not specifically a Shroud book, check out The Trial of the Templars (Canto) by Malcom Barber for a fascinating look at what happended to them and why they were dismantled and virtually destroyed.
Do a paper on the Crusades, in particular the 4th Crusade which was one of the lowest points of Christian history, when the west turned on the east and invaded Constantinople instead of the Holy Land. A tragic event when half of Constantinople (now Istanbul), was burned. The gold, silver and ivory were stolen by the Venetians, and the relics of the saints were taken by the French including; "Most holy of all, the linen in which our Lord was wrapped after his death and before his resurrection". Check out The great betrayal: Constantinople, 1204 by Ernle Bradford. This is not specifically a Shroud book but gives fascinating insight as to what happened during the infamous 4th Crusade. This is when the Shroud disappeared and was most likely stolen by the French and kept with the Templars for safe keeping. Anything that was considered "most holy of all" was more valuable than gold and sure to be stolen back if not kept secret and secure.
Could the Shroud of Turin be a Medieval work of art? Do a paper on art in the middle ages. What skills and knowledge did artists possess in the 1300's? What materials did they have to work with? See why art experts say that the Shroud could not be a painting. Discuss the unique aspects of the Shroud image and compare it to other known art works of the period. There is no comparison. Check out Shroud University and go the "Department of Art" for several good resources.
Need more inspiration? Check out Cool Topic, Cool Thoughts and Cool Tool for more reasons why choosing the Shroud as your topic of study could be a very cool thing!