The Shroud of Turin is a piece of linen cloth bearing the mysterious image of a man who has been crucified and scourged in Roman fashion, crowned with thorns, and pierced in the side. Since the scientific examination of the cloth in 1978, it is the single most-studied artifact known to exist, and in the decades since, more academic scrutiny has been brought to bear on it from many disciplines.
While many people of faith believe it to be the burial cloth of Christ, its carbon-14 dating done in 1988 assigns it a medieval date. Yet even that testing is now itself the subject of renewed and intensified academic debate.
The field is full of other fascinating questions: Is there a historical record for the cloth before its mid-14th century appearance in France? What about the forensic match to another artifact of Christian history held in Spain? And if this is a medieval artwork, what process might have produced the forensically accurate and anatomically perfect image?
Historian Cheryl White explores the ongoing mystery of this artifact through its known history and scientific examination, as well as the current state of research and scholarship. Rev. Peter Mangum joins her to discuss the forensic details found in the cloth as they relate to Christian gospel accounts.
White is a professor of history at Louisiana State University at Shreveport and a member of the board of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association. Mangum is director of vocations for the diocese of Shreveport, where he also serves as rector of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, and a visiting scholar in the College of Arts and Sciences at Louisiana State University Shreveport. Both presenters have published articles in Sindon, the journal of the International Center for Sindonology (shroud studies) in Turin, Italy.
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.