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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

John Bowker

Shroud of Turin. 

Christian relic venerated as the burial shroud of Jesus (mentioned e.g. in Matthew 27. 59). It is a strip of linen, 4.3 × 1.1 m., bearing the shadowy image of the front and back of a man's body, as if it had been folded over him at the head and the image somehow transferred. The shroud has reposed since 1578 in Turin cathedral. It seems likely that it came to Europe from Constantinople at the time of the Fourth Crusade, but the theory which attempts to trace its history further back, by identifying it with the image of Christ known as the mandylion of Edessa, has not won acceptance.

By 1988 tests on the material had made it clear that the shroud itself (i.e. the material) could not be dated earlier than 1260. The way in which the image was produced is still unknown.

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