Shroud of Turin – Conversation & Controversy, Melbourne 2014

Ian Wilson (1941 – ) is a prolific, internationally published author specializing in historical and religious mysteries. He graduated in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford, England, in 1963 and studied art at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art during the same period.

He continually and enthusiastically conducts wide-ranging research projects, both at home and around the world, often giving exciting, tantalizing talks, pushing the edges and boundaries of a subject.

This is part of his role as a catalyst for conversation about what the eye often cannot see.

Wilson is no stranger to controversy and always seemingly manages to hold both his nerve and to keep his cool when his theories and findings are challenged.

Before the Flood, the first book written by Wilson to evaluate the archaeological and historical implications of Dr. Robert Ballard and Dr. Fredrik Hiebert’s intriguing underwater Black Sea findings, ensured that many people began to regard the Bible’s story of Noah and his Ark with a great deal more respect.

On 9th February at 3pm at Melbourne, all interested parties are invited to hear Ian Wilson present a lecture Latest Researches into the Shroud’s History – New Approached and Intriguing New Developments.

He is sure to create a few waves, because he will be talking about The Shroud of Turin, which is one of the most controversial subjects and most studied artifacts in history.

Ian Wilson is considered a world authority on this contentious textile, one that is always open for conversation, scrutiny and question.

The Shroud is believed to be the linen cloth that was used to cover the body of Jesus the Christ following his crucifixion when he was taken down from the cross. It has been in the possession of the Catholic church in Italy for centuries.

Ian’s talk will be an aspect of an exhibition showing off a Copy of The Shroud of Turin in Melbourne, complete with markings. The show will be held from the 2nd to the 16th February at St Francis Church in the Pastoral Centre in Lonsdale Street in the city.

Guides will be on hand to explain its markings, the image itself and relate events from its always fascinating history. They will also talk about the scientific analysis completed on the cloth so far.

The encounter with the Shroud of Turin would change Ian Wilson’s life and his journey through it in more ways than one. The Shroud’s famous negative image ‘seemed far too unerringly like a real photograph to be the work of any conceivable artist-forger’, the former sceptic noted.

The results of his intensive research, and his interest in art and art history spurred him on after that showing and his extensive research and findings were revealed in his critically acclaimed first book The Shroud of Turin (1978).

The TV documentary co-scripted to accompany the book’s release won a BAFTA award. He revised the book in 2010 and re-titled it The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved. The title alone would infuriate ‘Shroud’ sceptics and non-believers.

He was pleased because it gave him an opportunity to debunk major forgery theories, by ripping apart the results of 1988 radiocarbon dating tests, indicating the Shroud was a medieval fake. By arguing his case brilliantly and provocatively, Wilson threw the whole matter again back into the public arena for further debate and research.

The side by side ventral and dorsal images of the Shroud of Turin as they appear on a photographic negative

Ian Wilson’s interest in The Shroud of Turin has been ongoing since as Head of the Publicity and Promotions department at the Bristol Evening post newspaper he went to Italy to cover a showing of the Shroud by the Vatican in 1973.

This was when it was being brought out of its conservation area to be filmed for colour television.

The details of the image on the Shroud are not easily distinguished by the naked eye.

Indeed they were first only observed after the advent of photography in 1898 when amateur Italian photographer Secondo Pia was allowed to photograph this important relic from antiquity, which has been in Turin since 1578, although its ownership was transferred from the House of Savory to the Holy See in 1983.

Pia was startled by a visible image, which gave the appearance of a positive image of the “Man of the Shroud”. His findings were later confirmed by it being photographed again by a professional photographer who was asked to check his findings.

The image found has a beard, a moustache, and shoulder-length hair, which is parted in the middle. He is muscular and tall (various experts say he’s 1.70 m, or about 5 ft 7 in, to 1.88 m, or 6 ft 2 in) tall.

Damaged in a fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France the Shroud has some burn holes and scorched areas down both sides of the linen, caused by contact with molten silver during the fire that burned through some places while it was folded. Later patched by ‘Poor Clare nuns.

A fire, possibly caused by arson threatened the shroud on 11 April 1997. In 2002, the Holy See had the shroud restored, its patches finally removed. A faint part-image of the body was found on the back in 2004.

The Shroud was last placed back on public display (the 18th time in its history) in Turin from 10 April to 23 May 2010; and according to Church officials, more than 2 million visitors came to see it

Born in war time London, Ian Wilson became a full-time author in 1979.

He has a ream of best sellers both in the UK and USA, because he has the ability to provide detailed accounts that are scholarly, historically accurate, and as exciting as a detective story.

Emigrating from England with his wife Judith to live in Queensland, Australia in 1995, Wilson’s other books, to name a few, include Shakespeare: The Evidence (1993), Past Lives: Unlocking the Secrets of our Ancestors (2001), Lost World of the Kimberley (2006) and Murder at Golgotha: A Scientific Investigation into the Last Days of Jesus’s Life, His Death and His Resurrection (2007).

Wise men have come to you to give you of their wisdom,
I came to take of your wisdom;
And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom

Ian Wilson was a convert to the Christian faith, joining the ranks of those who follow the way of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus is believed by millions to have fulfilled a prophecy that a descendant of King David, the first beloved king of the Judean dynasty of Israel, would arise to redeem his people, introducing harmony in creation.

Jesus was later given the title Christ, which comes from the Greek Christos, meaning ‘anointed one’.  He bore the crown of thorns and was sorrowed and shamed at his crucifixion, but not for himself rather humankind’s continuing capacity for inhumanity.

Removed from the cross and then entombed, the body of Jesus was first wrapped in clean linen and his whole life was to become a daily living experience for followers of his way.

The event we call the incarnation – God becoming man and dwelling with us – divides time into before he was born, Before Christ and after he was born, AD – Anno Domini meaning in the year of Our Lord or ACE, after the Christ Event)

As part of Ian Wilson’s life’s journey he continues to monitor, examine and analyze mentions of The Shroud and its existence in libraries and archives around the world.

He notes that he has also been ‘…lucky enough to view the Shroud in close-up, at length, and mostly without protective glass’.

Everyone is invited to go and view the Shroud, follow the story and make their own assumptions.

Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud.

It is fact that it is the single most studied artifact in human history over which controversy still rages.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014




St Francis Church Pastoral Centre,
326 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

Special interest presentations covering selected aspects of the Shroud will be held in the afternoons at 3:00 pm

Sunday 2 – The Shroud in the 21st Century – A Critical View
Tuesday 4 – An Imprint of a Crucified Body
Thursday 6 – An Ancient Artifact, How Old is it?

Sunday 9 February – Special lecture by world authority on The Shroud of Turin

Ian Wilson
Latest Researches into the Shroud’s History
New Approached and Intriguing New Developments

Tuesday 11 – Discovering the Real Face of Jesus
Thursday 13 – On the Trail of Historical Evidence – The Shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo
Sunday 16 – The Challenge of the Shroud – Food of the Soul

Download Exhibition Leaflet February 2014.

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