on 19 April 2009
Calvin's treatise is crisp, acerbic and telling in its demolition of contemporary Roman Catholic claims for the authenticity and value of its many relics: designed for a popular readership, it pulls no punches yet remains understated.
More than two thirds of this volume, however, consists in the introduction by Joe Nickell. It features some photos of Nickell posing in various places, usually with street furniture apparently sprouting from his head. The biographical material in the introduction is spoiled by an inept understanding of Calvin's theology; the remainder is a brief examination of more recent claims of authentic relics, especially the 'Turin Shroud'. This is interesting as far as it goes, but I would have preferred in its place an account of the historical background to Calvin's own writing of the treatise, and some information on the currency and effect of this work.