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Andrew Richard Casper
Miami University (Oxford, OH 45056-1846)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2014 – 7/31/2014

The Shroud of Turin as Art, Icon, and Relic in Early Modern Italy

Believers revere the Shroud of Turin as Jesus Christ's original burial cloth, soaked with discharged blood and sweat that coalesced, allegedly by miracle, into the shape of his body. The Shroud's first public exhibition in Turin in 1578 catalyzed the mass-production of prayer manuals and engraved reproductions for the purpose of perpetuating its devotional prestige for the next century. Yet no historical study utilizes these sources to explore the Shroud's prominence at this time. I show how these texts and images reveal hitherto unexplored intersections of theology and art theory in portraying the Shroud of Turin as a work of art divinely crafted out of Christ's blood. My research will culminate in a book that reveals how the interdependence of artifice and authenticity, as well as early modern conceptions of artistic craft, shaped then-contemporary conceptions of one of Christianity's most confounding religious artifacts.