There is much going for Naturism as non-erotica. Adam and Eve were not born clothed, but even though there was no one around they chose to wear fig leaves. What prevented them from being 'liberated'?
The Church of England got into a bit of a tangle when its website spoke flatteringly about nudity in the Spirit of Living section on its website.
|Adam and Eve - Rubens|
Under a section headed ‘New Age’, the item said airbrushed models created “an unhealthy, unnatural model of perfection”. In contrast, it continued, “naturism is a liberating lifestyle and belief which encourages self-respect, respect for others and for the environment, and embodies freedom and a unique sense of communion with nature. Christian naturists see this as God’s design for living. It is purposefully non-erotic and non-sexual and engenders a wholesome appreciation of self and others.”
How does this particular Church authority assume that people will not be judged for their imperfections or there will not be an attempt to seek perfection? How much of religious iconography has dared to create imperfect imagery – in art or otherwise?
The body is being taken over by faith quite openly although it always has do0ne so under cover in every religion. There are so many strictures. This is, therefore, surprising. It could become a means of proselytising where those who would feel awkward or ashamed might shed their clothes because it has been ordained by god.
It has obviously got a lot of flak and the photograph of the back of a naked man has been removed from the site. Why the back? Is it not evidence of shame? Or is it about going away from set ideas?
The cathedral did not fail to mention, “Otherwise we encourage prurience and those with impure motives.”
Prurience and liberation do not go together and motives cannot be gauged in bodies.