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Treasures from Heaven: Relics from Noah's Ark to the Shroud of Turin

Treasures from Heaven: Relics from Noah's Ark to the Shroud of Turin

Paperback

By (author) Steven Sora

List price $18.78

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 14mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 22 February 2005
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0471462322
  • ISBN 13: 9780471462323
  • Sales rank: 908,053

Product description

A fascinating examination of the most famous religious relics of all time Since the early days of the Church, Christians have venerated religious relics. In this fascinating book, Steven Sora tells the story of Christianity's most treasured artifacts-the Ark of the Covenant, Noah's Ark, the True Cross, the Spear of Destiny, the Shroud of Turin, and the Holy Grail-as well as lesser-known objects such as the Veil of Veronica and the bones and blood of Biblical figures such as St. Luke. After describing when and where these relics first came to light and what miraculous powers people believe they possess, he discusses what modern science can tell us about these much-revered objects-and what science still fails to explain. Steven Sora (Easton, PA) is the author of The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery and the forthcoming Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones.

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Author information

STEVEN SORA is the author of The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery and Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones. He has written more than eighty articles on topics ranging from photography to travel to mysteries.

Review quote

"A handy compendium that covers major known but undiscovered Judeo--Christian religious relics..." (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2004) "...offers stories behind the most sacred." (Publishing News, 08/10/04)

Editorial reviews

A handy compendium that covers major known but undiscovered Judeo-Christian religious relics, ranging from the bones of saints and prophets to artifacts associated with the Crucifixion. With no real new ground to break here, Sora does a creditable job of enumerating relics that have had an impact on the faithful and on the religious establishment, assembling interesting apocrypha and updating their status. He's forthright on the phenomenon the Catholic Church calls "multiplication," otherwise known as fakery: enough pieces from the True Cross extant "to rebuild Noah's Ark," multiple heads of John the Baptist, etc. Yet records of miracles and paranormal events associated with numerous relics, replete with a host of unbiased witnesses, continue to persist and continue to resist debunking. When confronted with disproving the Shroud of Turin-supposedly the winding sheet of Christ's corpse-several scientists of indisputable world repute, the author points out, have leaned toward authentification. In fact, three separate radiocarbon dating tests indicating origin in the medieval period constitute the principal negative data; whereas cloth type, pollen accrual, etc., point to timely origin in the Middle East as do the blood type and DNA extracted from the Shroud. Enduring controversies, however, continue to be associated with a wealth of fascinating historical and cultural material like. There's the Ark of the Covenant, for instance, which leads Sora to plausible hiding places in Ireland, Scotland, France, and Ethiopia (where its supposed residence is celebrated annually), as well as Jerusalem. The once dormant relic trade itself may be energized again thanks to the Internet. While one smuggler simply FedExed saintly remains to the US not long ago, an opponent of spurious relic trading who is quoted by Sora finds eBay, despite its attempts to ban body parts of any nature, a "charnel house of holy bones," with offerings often described in perfect churchly Latin and men of the cloth among alleged buyers. Nonreligious, readable and occasionally fascinating. (Kirkus Reviews)

Back cover copy

Can modern science confirm the miraculous properties of the world's holiest relics?Is the Shroud of Turin an elaborate medieval scam, or is it nothing short of concrete evidence of the Resurrection? Is the venerated skull of St. John the Baptist in France, in Damascus, or was it only just recently unearthed near the Dead Sea? Will the marvels of modern science debunk the mysteries of sacred relics revered for over two millennia, or will it prove without a doubt what hundreds of millions of faithful have known in their hearts and souls all along? In Treasures from Heaven, author Steven Sora sets to find out.In this fascinating examination, Sora recounts the story of Christianity's most treasured artifacts--the Ark of the Covenant, Noah's Ark, the True Cross, the Spear of Destiny, the Shroud of Turin, and the Holy Grail--as well as lesser-known objects such as the Veil of Veronica and the bones and blood of biblical figures, including those of St. Luke. Weaving together lessons in history, religion, and modern science, Sora first traces the origin, time line, and religious significance of each object and then examines the authenticity of each through the lens of modern science. This meticulously researched book also explores why millions of pilgrims are willing to travel thousands of miles each year to visit relics on display in hopes of a miracle, a cure, an answer to a prayer, or just to pay homage to the hallowed artifact.From the holiest object in Christendom to some of the bizarre religious artifacts currently being sold on eBay, Treasures from Heaven provides layers upon layers of factual data, research, and theology, and explores what the most cutting-edge technology has been able to prove or disprove about these sacred marvels.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1: The Enigma of the Holy Shroud. 2: The Sacred Face: The Veil of Veronica and the Sudarium of Oviedo. 3: The True Cross and the Relics of the Crucifixion. 4: The Spear of Destiny. 5: The Skull of St. John the Baptist. 6: The Blessed Virgin Mary. 7: Christianity's Most Sacred Women. 8: The Bones of Contention-the Relics of the Apostles. 9: The Gospel Writers (Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John). 10: The Miracles and the Relics of the Saints. 11: Noah's Ark. 12: The Ark of the Covenant. 13: The Holy Grail. 14: The Modern Relic Trade. Epilogue: Relics-the Last Word. Notes. Bibliography. Index.