I can’t say that I am religious person, I have never been and probably never will be, but I do respect religious people. I am a naked freedom lover, and yesterday, It came to me “can religion and naturism coexist”.
Instead of walking around wondering, I put in some effort in research about the subject which includes the religions (Christianity, Islam, Jewish and Hinduism).

Christianity
Christianity is a very popular religion in the western world. I am living in the western world myself, and that’s the reason why I have put most details on this religion.

I think the most frequent used argument against nudity is “God approved of people being nude, he would not have clothed Adam and Eve after they sinned, thus making it a reminder to man that we had, in fact, sinned.” If you take a look in bible you will discover that it presents nakedness as shameful and degrading.

Examples from the bible can be found here

It seems like chrisitianity doesn’t approve nakedness, but still there are Christian Naturist community. For example this quote was taken from a Christian Naturist group on TrueNudist.com – Quote – “Christian Naturists detest pornography and smut, we report Pedophilia, and uphold monogamous Christian family values that our future generations can soundly build upon.” For me it sounds like the group has most of the Christian ideals, just with a minor twist that nakedness is allowed.

It might sound like Christianity and naturism is a seldom mix, but that might not be the whole truth. Countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy are actually very liberal about nudity. These countries are also Roman Catholic and has traditional been religious countries. The religious belief isn’t as strong as it has been, but I don’t think that is the reason. It is more likely that reason is within the culture – and not in their belief.


Islam
Islam and naturism isn’t a very good fit, the reason is that there are laws against revealing body parts. The area of the body not meant to be exposed in public is called the awrah, and while referred to in the Qur’an,

  • For men that is equal to covering up from the navel to knees, which means that Muslim men have to cover themselves at least from the navel down to the knees in front of other men or women
  • For women that means covering up from chest to knees in front of other women and in front of men, it is the whole body except from face and hands. For some more strict Islam believers it’s not allowed to show hands and face either.

I do believe that there are some naturist among Islamists, but I don’t think the number is high.


Judaism
In general, Judaism has a rather clothes-on attitude towards nudity in most social and familial situations, except when it is impractical to do so. Impractical situations can be showering, sexual intimacy or ritual purposes. How much it’s legal to show depends on the interpretation of Halakha the Jewish law.

However, there is a form of Judaism called Jewish Ascetic Nudism which embraces nude ascetic Jewish rituals.They believe that by removing clothing during observance of rituals that they are acknowledging their wholeness as a living being that has already been blessed by God and not needing anything else to survive on this earth.

Read much more about nudism and Judaism

 

Hinduism
In Hinduism nudity is not a part of the religion. Though there are one “sect” of hinduism which can be seen naked example  Nanga sadhu .

I haven’t found much about hinduism and naturism, therefore please enlighten me about Hinduism and naturism if you know anything about the subject.


Putting it all together
It seem like that most of the major religions has a kind of negative view upon nakedness. Some religions seem to take a little light view upon nudity than other. But common for all of them is that they as default don’t embraces nudity.

Why is that then?
I don’t actually think it is the religions in itself, but the cultural inheritance which is much more visible in religions.

I think naturism can live hand in hand with religion, but not without obstacles. After all many religions has a long path to walk before it will be acceptable.

Copyright photo: 5arah / pixabay
  1. You’ve certainly not touched all the religious bases here. Most of the Pagan (earth-based) religions, including Wicca (perhaps the most well-known of the Pagan religions) accept nudity, and some traditions even incorporate nudity as an integral part of their rituals.

  2. Hi Mike

    Thanx for the information – I am pretty sure that I miss a lot more than that in my short article.

    I have only taken a look upon the greater religions (greater in the number of believers) . But I would really like to hear more about other religions, too 🙂

    /Peter

  3. Nudity forces the onlooker to see the human as it is: An animal. The peoples who have been raised in religion, associate evil with matter. So, they are forced to see the truth, when they see a penis or a women nursing. Their comfort zone is gone. Their superiority feeling is challenged. In fact, except for the distinctive shape, and mostly hairless outside cover, our DNA has a lot in common with the animal kingdom.

  4. I think you missed one of the main points from Genesis on your review of Christianity. While still sinless, Adam and Eve were naked. This was God’s plan until they exercised free will and sinned. It was only after they sinned, and God punished them by cursing the ground, bringing in thorns and thistles (ouch), and hard labor to survive, yhat he made them clothes – possibly for protection. Nakedness is later used to describe a lack of disguise or the real truth more so than an absence of clothing. Read Genesis chapter 3, and reread your cited passages with the word naked considered metaphorically. That is how this particular Christian interprets biblical nudity.

  5. I personally am a Humanist, in my view the best fit for the philosophy of Naturism but if you are interested, Karen Gorham now a CofE Bishop authored a book; Naturism and Christianity: Are They Compatible? You may find her views of interest in squaring this particular circle.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naturism-Christianity-They-Compatible-Ethics/dp/185174438X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505756619&sr=8-1&keywords=naturism+and+christianity%3A+are+the+compatible%3F+%28ethics%29+by+karen+gorham

  6. While it may SEEM that the Bible, and hence, Christianity, is against nudity, the truth is just the opposite. First, I will say it’s necessary to divide Christianity into two segments, that of the man-made traditions and what is actually in Scripture.
    When you study what the overall “Christian Church” has taught and accepted concerning nudity, then, yes, you find that nudity is forbidden within the Church, but that is strictly man-made views that became enforced tradition over the many years. Going back to the culture from whence we get Christianity we find that this culture (the Roman Empire of approx. 33 AD and before) had no taboos against public nudity. The vast majority of people owned only one set of clothing, which meant that in order to keep it from being soiled or wearing out too fast it was necessary to remove one’s clothing before performing any type of physical work. Thus, Yahshua/Jesus Himself, working as a carpenter before He began his ministry that led to the cross, was quite commonly nude for much of His day. If someone came to His carpentry shop in order to request an item be made or to take possession of something previously commissioned by this carpenter, these people would see Yahshua/Jesus working completely without clothing. This is how it was for all of this land in this age and culture. Only those who were wealthy could afford more than one set of clothes and not be nude in this manner, but most of them did not perform physical labor, either.
    It was because of the Church, ie, the Roman Catholic Church, which eventually formed around Christianity that nudity became outlawed and therefore a “sin”.

    When we look at Scripture we find that God did not clothe A&E for the purpose of their sinning by being nude. God created them nude and had them in His presence on a daily basis without judging them for their nudity. After all, He created them nude and was perfectly fine and accepting with all that He had created. Look at God’s response when Adam said that he and Eve were hiding, because they were naked and ashamed. God said, “Who told you that you were naked?”and immediately confronted Adam about having eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the one tree that was forbidden for A&E to eat from in all the Garden.
    The fact that God then gave A&E animal skins to cover themselves with before banishing them from the Garden speaks of His having made the first animal sacrifice for the purpose of sin, just as He would later command the priests of Israel to perform every year in order for the sins of the entirety of the Israelites to be forgiven each year. This sacrifice was a foreshadowing of things to come when God would provide His own Son, Yahshua (Jesus), as the final Sacrificial Lamb to die for the sins of the world.
    We see therefore, that God had no problem with nudity and many times throughout Scripture there are incidents where God told one of His prophets to walk naked for a specific purpose, sometimes as long as three years, in full public view of all the inhabitants of the land. If this was sin, then God is a sinner for commanding His prophets to be nude for any purpose. But it is not sin, only taboo from man’s tradition, and Yahshua Himself told us not to place man’s tradition above Scripture.
    Having said all of that I will finish by saying that once Yahshua was sacrificed upon the cross so that all may come to Him and receive forgiveness of their sin and be restored to a right and just relationship with their Creator/Father, He also put an end to the curse of the law for all who receive Him and believe, which is why we as Christians above all others have not only the right to be nude, but the obligation to be nude, for if we, after having confessed our sin and acknowledged Yahshua as Lord and Savior, continue with wearing clothes, we are saying we are yet under the law and not the grace of the Cross. We are saying we prefer to be clothed in sin and not forgiven and free from the law which kept us clothed in the sight of our Creator. Having accepted Yahshua as Messiah we then need to put off that which hides of from the sight of our Creator in order to show Him and all the world that we have been forgiven and now lead lives full of grace, born of the Spirit, not of man.

  7. I am conservative christian and support naturism as well. I believe that because of what God told Isaiah to do in Isa 20, it proves that the reason he gave clothes to Adam and Eve had nothing to do with morality, only practical for environmental survival. And a couple hints in the bible reveal casual nudity was common then, such as Peter fishing naked (John 21:7) and field workers working naked. (Matt 24:18) Also the concepts discussed in the mychainsaregone website articles is the way we really should be looking at it. And if we’d all live nude as much as is comfortable it would help alleviate a few of the evils of our society. Makes it obvious that God knew what was good for us back there in the beginning when he put our first grandparents in a garden nude. So while I’m respectful of others desire to not be around naked people, and their lack of understanding. I work naked all I can and go to naturist resort when I can.

  8. I am glad that Jacob and Reuben agree that clothes optional is acceptable. They both have interesting views and I would be interested to see the the evidence other than the Bible. Even the bible does not claim that Jesus commonly worked naked. The Bible is flawed on many issues and can be used to demonstrate that any behaviour is permitted, for example the case for slavery in Exodus 21. The authority for slavery was also claimed in the new testament in the epistle of Paul to Philemon. Clearly slavery is wrong. I could also question the Biblical authority that was used to persecute others such as Homosexuals and so called Witches.
    It is generally accepted that most Christians believe showing your uncovered body to others is a sin for example: Catholic Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate centre of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Many Christians will say that the case of Isaiah was an exception precisely because he was a prophet and the purpose for his nakedness was for a specific reason for Yahweh’s purpose.
    I know that there are many different sects and schisms in Christianity and as a result many differing opinions on morality all based on the Bible.
    For this reason we need to promote the right to be naked as a secular right for everyone no matter what they believe or who they are.

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