Friday, March 16, 2012

Oxford is as Oxford Does:* The Christ Icon and the Shroud of Turin

Oxford is as Oxford Does*

I have recently read the original Paul Vignon book on the Shroud of Turin originally published in 1902 which was reissued in English in 2002. I got it through Amazon. In 1902, three decades before he published his “Vignon Markings” he compared medieval depictions of Christ and found them inferior to the Shroud image and quite different.

 I was originally attracted to Christ to Coke because its author Martin Kemp was the leading art historian backing the DaVinci origination of what he dubbed "La Principessa" an art scandal par excellence when Christie evaluated a 100 million dollar drawing for $17,000 and sold it on consignment. See National Geographic Feb 2012, p. 101

 Kudos to Martin Kemp for "La Principessa." Really! Bronx cheer for "Christ to Coke!!" 

 His opinion is ignorant and a disgrace for an expert. I say "ignorant" because he obviously didn't do his homework on the Shroud. He cites Pantocrator as the seminal Christ  icon and ignores or does not know about the well publicized Vignon markings linking it the Shroud image to the Pantocrator. He is dismissive of Ian Wilson’s “Mandylion theory,” and list Wilson’s latest book as “Reading” as well as the entire cite. (Kemp, Martin [2011-10-13]. "Christ to Coke : How Image Becomes Icon" Kindle Edition location 1005). He ignores the Vignon markings even though they are discussed in the Wilson book he lists as “Reading.” (Wilson, supra: Figure 26, Kindle location 2680)

 And he sort of grouses about the carbon dating controversy and then swallows it whole hog. His attribution of it to the Medieval/Renaisance times as a painting by an unknown Italian or French artists is – GIVEN THE EVIDENCE – absurd.
 “If I were asked to provide an art-historical date for the portrayal of Christ on the Shroud, I would estimate it have been made in the later thirteenth or first half of the fourteenth century in Italy or southern France. This is consistent with the much denigrated carbon dating.” (Kemp: Kindle Locations 954-956).
  It is not a painting. If anything, what Barrie Schwortz has estimated to be more than a quarter of a million hours of Shroud research has demonstrated that.

 However, I have a working theory or an opinion about Mr. Kemp’s astute blindness. One of the bases of his LaPrincipessa opinion is carbon dating that was done on its vellum which dated it to DaVinci’s time. Is it possible that Oxford Don Kemp used Oxford’s very own carbon dating lab to do the dating? If so, is his attack on the Shroud authenticity occasioned by a necessity to, at least indirectly, defend the Oxford carbon dating lab?

 Perhaps the good Professor could enlighten us on who did is carbon dating? Just asking. Were we in court and he was testifying as an expert on the Shroud, it would be an admissible question on cross-examination. It’s called bias.
*Apologies to Forest Gump

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tunes of Glory

Does anyone remember "Tunes of Glory" where Alec Guiness pushes his rival for regimental command to commit suicide and then fantasizes a glorious funeral for his rival in his own nervous breakdown scene?

 I think both Romney and Santorum are headed for the deep end.  This may end badly, very badly. The best Romney can hope for now is begrudged nomination and a national campaign where he ends up denying everything he said to get the nomination. The most interesting thing about Michigan and Arizona is how a substantial plurality of Catholic voters rejected Santorum and chose a Mormon for Pete's sake!
Not totally unrelated is the quick action of the Archbishop of DC PUBLICLY chastising the priest who PUBLICLY snubbed a Lesbian Catholic at her mother's funeral. Santorum's remark, since retracted, that JFK's speech on Church and State made him "puke" is of the same genre as that priest's actions.
There is an old Pat and Mike joke about Mike seeing Pat leading a parade. "Pat," Mike asks, "what's this parade about?" "I don't know," Pat replied, "but these are my people and if they are in a parade, I'd better be leading it."
Actually, Christ has been leading this parade longer than the clergy will admit. For his time and place, Christ was a radical feminist.  He openly  discussed scripture with not only Jewish women but with a Samaritan woman at the well. You can look it up!
As far as the priest in DC is concerned: Mathew 5:5 says it all:  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." God bless Lawrence O'Donnell. 
Both Rick S and Romney may have someone to answer to a lot more powerful than the voters. They both becoming increasingly flaky. Hey guys, GET A GRIP ON IT!