Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: The Shroud Codex

The Shroud Codex

by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010

Pope John-Paul Peter I has a serious headache. Fr. Paul Bartholomew, a parish priest in New York City, has just resumed his duties after spending three years recovering from a near-fatal accident. Since his return, Bartholomew claims to talk to Jesus directly and has quickly gained a reputation for being able to heal people in the confessional. He has also started to look very much like the image of the man in the famous Shroud of Turin. While celebrating mass one day, Bartholomew begins screaming in agony and blood starts pouring from his wrists, until he collapses on the church floor in front of the altar. Those in the pews immediately start taking photos and videos which quickly spread via the internet. The Pontiff is concerned both for the health of this priest as well as for the health of the Church. He directs the Archbishop of New York to bring in Dr. Stephen Castle, a well-known surgeon and psychiatrist, to take the case. Perhaps most importantly, Castle is an atheist, someone certain not to look for a religious explanation.

In “The Shroud Codex,” New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi, Ph.D. has woven an incredible tale of science and faith. This is a “DaVinci Code” for believers. It is important to note that this is a novel, but it is based heavily on solid research. Corsi does provide his sources at the end of the book for those who wish to study further. The book features many photographs of the Shroud of Turin taken in 1978 by Barrie Schwortz who edits the website.

Dr. Castle plays the devil’s advocate in this book, the scientific mind always searching for the logical explanation. As Fr. Bartholomew continues to suffer injuries consistent with the man on the Shroud, a team of experts struggles to make sense of it all. Not only are they attempting to discover what is causing the wounds, they are also attempting to make sense of all the evidence surrounding the Shroud. Is it actually the burial cloth of Jesus Christ or a brilliant medieval forgery? Does it, as Fr. Bartholomew maintains, hold a great secret for humanity? Will the whole experience cause Dr. Castle to question his atheistic beliefs?

“The Shroud Codex” has the potential to raise many questions and will no doubt encourage debate about the famous Shroud and what it means. The publication of this book coincides with the first public display of The Shroud of Turin in 12 years. For anyone interested in the Shroud, the mystery of the Resurrection, or simply looking for a good scientific mystery, “The Shroud Codex” is the must-read novel of 2010.

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