Raiments and the Church

Adam and Eve - Rubens
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.

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.”
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'?

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.


  1. FV
    Ohhh, so Adam and Eve were white?
    What happened to this theory that our ancestors emerged from Africa and were actually black?

    However, I tried to explore almost all Holy books, couldn't find a single verse which states that Adam and Eve used to be naked.

    Could you show me one verse from authentic Holy books saying what this picture depicts?


  2. Circle:

    The colour of not only Adam and Eve but also of Christ has often been raised. The nudity here is an artistic representation and one must assume that since they were the first, just as there was no electricity there were no clothes.

    However, here is something:

    "Adam was created from mud, and Eve was created from one of Adam's ribs. Both had remained naked in the Garden of Eden."

    Genesis 2:25

  3. Paleontological evidence support African origins of humans. There is no evidence that Adam or Eve ever existed - if that is the case, then they (Adam and Eve) are imagined characters. Their depiction is subjected to imagination of their creator(s), limited as it may be. Convoluting Adam and Eve with the human origins is muddying up the primordial waters, if you don't mind my saying so. One must either believe that Adam and Eve were created, or that humans originated in Africa as a result of billions of years of evolution. Or as FV would say, "you can't eat your cake while baking it" - this is just plain circular logic, if you don't mind my saying so. BTW, don't have any issue with their being naked, but covering the privates with fig leaves? What's up with that ... who was watching?

  4. Actually, entire human population is of very recent origin (about 100K yrs ago) from a a very small cohort that left the continent along the arabian peninsula across the red sea. Female side of our DNA can be traced to a single female from the cohort (scientist have nicknamed her "mitochonrial Eve"). Similar arguments are there for male side. So, Adam and Eve (metaphorically speaking) are there. It is just that they are black african instead of Jewish, Arab or Caucasian :-)

    BTW, I just read the comment (and not the original post). I find creationism amusing. The real scientific story is even more fascinating. Watch any of the documentaries (or books) by Spencer Wells.

  5. Anon:

    Since there are several interpretations of the Mona Lisa, there can be of evolution too. Religion as imagined has been discussed here among several other places. Anyhow, I was not discussing the realism of Adam and Eve but the Church's attitude towards nudity.

    So, the circular logic is in your mind, if you don't mind. I already questioned the fig leaves. Maybe they were protection against the Big Bang.

    One does not have to believe in everything to discuss it.

    Anyway, I have my origins partly in Africa so I am quite objective in this matter, if you don't mind. Which part are you from?


    Thanks for not reading the post!


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