Sexual modesty cannot then in any simple way be identified with the use of clothing, nor shamelessness with the absence of clothing and total or partial nakedness. There are circumstances in which total nakedness is not immodest….Nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness. Immodesty is only present when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person…The human body is not in itself shameful, nor for the same reasons are sensual reactions, and human sensuality in general.
Pope John-Paul I
Early Christian Nudists 1)Therapy, Nudity & Joy
There are a number of ministers and priests in the contemporary nudist movement. In fact, the modem nudist movement was largely organized by ordained religious leaders, as discussed more fully in Chapter 8. These religious leaders used as their justification the many parts of the Judaic-Christian Bible which speak of accepting the human body without shame (such as references to those apostles who were fishermen, naked at their work). Religious nudists use these quotations as an answer to the fundamentalist preachers who sermonize about God’s demand for clothing.
For example, the Rev. Martin Wadestone, author of “Nudism and Christianity,” writes: “Actually, in the light of the Bible, there is no sin in nudity itself; but if a person uses the nudity for lustful or immoral purposes he has misused it, and this constitutes a sin. The Bible does not speak against nudity nor does it teach that the body is shameful. There is reference to shame in nudity, but this shame was produced in the mind of man, not by divine ordination.”2)Nudity in Ancient to Modern Cultures
The Christian sect the Adamites practiced holy nudism, described as an attempt to return to the “pure state of innocence” of Adam and Eve. Some early baptismal practices required complete nudity, and several Christian sects (Adamites, Adamianis, Carpocrations, Aquarii, and Marcosians) practice social nudity (nudity in public and private locations). 3)Nudism – Pamela Black Pennsylvania State University
This was also the belief of at least five groups in the history of Christianity: the Carpocrations, Adamites, Adamianis, Encratites, and Marcosians. Most of the historical information we have concerning the beliefs and practices of these early Christians4)Wikipedia – Early Christianitycomes to us, in fact, through the recorded criticisms and diatribes of Roman Catholic Church authorities, since these authorities have largely destroyed the writings of those they considered heretical.
Platonic philosopher Carpocrates, born in Alexandria, Egypt in the second century A.D., believed in one God as creator of the world and all things in it. He combined the Christian ideal of the brotherhood of man with portions of Plato’s Republic, advocating that the glories of God should not be hidden. He urged Christians, both male and female, to look upon the natural body with gratitude for the creative force of God-love. His disciples suffered ridicule and sometimes severe persecution but continued their practices into the fourth century A.D. Records indicate that nude statues and a museum were created to honor this sect. It was the Carpocrations who first portrayed Christ’s body in the exposed form commonly seen to this day.
- Mormons or Latter Day Saints
- Christian Naturist convocation
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