OGDEN -- The public is invited to attend a presentation about the science behind the study of the Shroud of Turin, the supposed burial cloth of Jesus.
No tickets are required for the event that will begin with Mass at 5 p.m. and a presentation following, at approximately 6:30 p.m. next Saturday at St. James Catholic Church, 495 N. Harrison Blvd.
Recognized by many as the cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus Christ when he was laid in his tomb and then resurrected, the Shroud of Turin has been studied extensively. "The most controversial and arguably the most important artifact in the world," is one description of the cloth offered by the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado.
Next weekend's presentation is titled "The Shroud of Turin: Addressing the Curiosity Regarding the Holiest Relic in Christianity."
Presenting will be John Jackson and Rebecca Jackson, directors of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado.
John Jackson led a 30-person scientific expedition in 1978 that examined the shroud first-hand and has delivered presentations on the articfact at numerous symposiums around the world, according to his biography.
His research was featured in the 2008 BBC documentary "The Shroud of Turin: Material Evidence" and in the History Channel documentary "The Real Face of Jesus?"
Rebecca Jackson grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family. She has given presentations around the world and published extensively on the first century Jewish background of the Shroud, states her biography. Her research also was featured in the 2008 BBC documentary.
The popularity of studies and disseminating information about the shroud is evidenced by the fact that there are about 50 organizations like the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado all around the world.
For centuries the Shroud of Turin was revered for the sepia-colored, hard to discern image of a man bearing wounds many believers held to be consistent with the trauma wounds of scourging and crucifixion, according to a description on the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado website.
Then, in 1898 things took a dramatic turn. While the Shroud was being exhibited in Turin, an amateur photographer named Secunda Pia was invited to take the first photographs of the Shroud, states the site.
On the evening of May 28, 1898 during the normal course of developing his photographic plates, Pia was startled to see the unmistakable image of a crucified man that was nothing like the image seen by the naked eye when looking at the Shroud.
The image he saw looked very much like a true photographic positive. The image on the Shroud itself must then logically be the photographic-like negative.
The site states that since that time, the photographic discovery was propagated around the world.
Even today, there remains widespread popular interest in the Shroud and scientists continue to find ways to scientifically prove and disprove its authenticity.
The site also describes recent controversies surrounding the shroud.
One recent controversy that was highly publicized in the news media was a failure of carbon dating to place the shroud in the age of Jesus Christ.
The process determined that the shroud was much younger than previously believed.
However, the site explains a belief that because the container that held the shroud was subject to extreme heat during a fire, the age of the relic underwent a process that improved its age.
In late 2009, there was a sensation in the popular press concerning an effort made by a team in Italy to produce a body image that could be compared to the shroud.
Donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of bringing the Jacksons to Utah.
For more information about the Jacksons and the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, visit shroudofturin.com.