By Jerome Corsi
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The priest: Brought back to life on an operating room table after a horrific car crash, Father Paul Bartholomew is haunted by frightening visions ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å especially the moments when he seems to inhabit the body of Christ at Golgotha.
The skeptics: Dr. Stephen Castle, a New York City psychiatrist and renowned atheist, has built an international reputation for his book arguing that religion is a figment of human imagination.
Professor Marco Gabrielli, an Italian religious researcher and chemist, has made a career of debunking supposed miracles, of explaining the unexplainable.
The miracle: For centuries, however, the Shroud of Turin has defied scientific explanation. Is this ancient remnant that bears such a vividly detailed pictorial representation truly the burial cloth that wrapped Christ after he was taken down from the cross? Or is it the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the Christian community?
As Father Bartholomew ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å newly returned to his parish, the venerable St. JosephÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs Church in upper Manhattan ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å celebrates Mass, blood starts running down his arm. The horrified congregation watches him collapse to the ground, his vestments soaked with the blood pouring from wounds on his wrists. The phenomenon is known as stigmata, when a person appears to manifest the wounds that Christ suffered upon the cross.
But in Father BartholomewÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs case there is a mysterious added dimension: He has been transformed to resemble in almost every physical aspect the Christ-like figure represented on the Shroud of Turin. Worried that BartholomewÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs case could be proved a hoax, the Vatican employs Dr. Castle and Professor Gabrielli to investigate. But for the well-known psychiatrist and the experienced man of science both, Father Bartholomew presents the most perplexing challenge either has ever faced.
Dr. Castle watches in person while the priest appears to writhe in agony, blood spurting from wounds identical to those portrayed on the famous shroud, and he wonders if he too can have been sucked into some kind of shared hallucination.
Meanwhile, Professor Gabrielli ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å confident that he can reproduce the shroud by using materials and methods available in the Middle Ages ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å works frantically to prove that the shroud is a medieval forgery.
But when the priestÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs uncanny resemblance to the crucified Christ on the Shroud prompts the two men to investigate the famous artifact itself, each is finally forced to face mysteries that cannot be explained by sheer reason alone. It will be the most unsettling ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å and eventually soul-wrenching ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å journey of discovery they have ever undertaken.
From Jerome R. Corsi, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller "The Obama Nation," comes a magnificent, thought-provoking first novel. Grounded in the same kind of in-depth, all-encompassing research that has distinguished CorsiÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs nonfiction, "The Shroud Codex" plumbs the farthest reaches of science and the human spirit.
"Corsi weaves an intriguing tale of science and religion that is more than a good read ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å it is about as near to an out-of-body experience as we are bound to witness. Believers and nonbelievers alike will be attracted to this book, if not for the same reasons." - Bill Donohue, The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàHardcover: 352 pages
ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàPublisher: Threshold Editions (April 13, 2010)