Nudity & The Gospel

So I’ve been away (mea culpa), and I’ve done a bit of reading on nudity and Church teaching (not a lot, but a little), and as far as I can tell there’s no official Church teaching on the subject (and by official I mean something that’s come out of a Pope or Church council or is embedded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

I have found that there appears to be an active presence of committed Christians, both Catholic and non, who are also participants in the nude lifestyle, either on a full or part-time basis. On those web sites that were pro-nudity (for want of a better word) I found many references to the sacramentality of the body, the goodness of the body, the original creation of the body in the buff, etc. On sites that were anti-nudity (again, for want of a better word) I found arguments ranging from our fallen nature (as good as nudity is we have a hard time separating nudity from lust) to more practical concerns (where do I keep my keys and wallet?).

I remember reading an article where a reporter did a story on nude resorts. She said that once she got over the shock of having to go semi-nude, it seemed like the most normal thing in the world to see other people walking around naked. She mentioned that everyone seemed well adjusted and at ease with each other, and no one was staring or acting inappropriately. She was especially impressed with teens, who, for lack of designer clothing and other fashion accroutments (is this a word?), did not have the high levels of fashion-consciousness and accompanying social jousting that seems so prevalent in much of society. With everyone wearing basically the same thing (nothing), there was no way to flaunt social or economic status.

(Which, incidentally, is one of the reasons most Catholic schools and many private and public schools mandate school uniforms – it’s a way of leveling the playing field between the economically viable and the economically challenged.) 🙂

In short? I don’t know. The Catholic church teaches that for something to be morally sinful you have to look at the action itself, the intentions behind the action, and the circumstances surrounding the action. Here there is no lewdness or lust, just a desire to live in a natural a state as possible (intent is clear); they are not walking around naked in public places where it is illegal (circumstances are clear); they are living nude as God may have originally intended us to be, which can be problematic for many people as in our culture nudity is usually equated with sexual actions & sexual intercourse (action itself is murky).

So again, I’m not sure where I would put this on a moral continuum . . . . certainly not as a mortal (serious) sin, but maybe not fully clear either.

Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated! 🙂

Blessings & Peace,

7 thoughts on “Nudity & The Gospel

  1. Hugo says:

    Back from my Christmas vacation!

    curious: you have way too many blogs 🙂

    But you’re right – we don’t know what people or angels wear in heaven, or if they wear at all . . . which means that they can conceivably wear nothing at all . . . which would be how God intended us to be (otherwise we’d all be born wearing Polo or Ralph Lauren) 🙂

    Glad you find the topic interesting – I’ll work hard to keep it that way!

    Blessings & Peace,

  2. curious servant says:

    Not taking sides here… but how do we know what anyone in heaven wears?

    We know that their interactions with us on Earth includes clothing, but that isn’t definitive about other spheres.

    Just a thought.

  3. curious servant says:

    This isn’t a topic I expected here… and that is a good thing.

    I’ll be back to see how this pans out.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Hugo says:

    KC: Glad to hear you’re not judging 🙂 (I missed responding to that with my first response!)

    dys: We actually don’t know that Christ angels or saints wear clothes, do we? I mean, we know Christ wore clothing in his post-resurrection appearances, and we usually see angels depicted wearing clothes as wel, but I think that has more to do with 1) Christ not wanting to shock people by walking around naked here on earth and 2) artists not wanting to shock good Christians by showing certain body parts. 🙂

    For angels especially the CC trats them as fully spiritual beings that can manifest here on the physical world if needed – I’m sure in heaven, genderless as they are, there’s no need for clothing on them, and maybe not even for people in heaven – it would, after all, be the manifestation of the image of the Garden of Eden, and God created us naked at first! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by, though – I’ve bookmarked your blog and will stop by soon! 🙂

    Blessings & Peace,

  5. The JadedCM says:


    I’m really glad to see you get back to this subject. I’m also glad to see that you did some research. I actually researched some of this about a year ago, too. My city was going to have a nude waterpark day sponsered by a nudist club here in town. It received some national attention and they decided to cancel the plans even though it was a private party.

    The thoughts that I come across when we have this is the lust issue. Lust is not caused by nudity. Lust is actually caused by covering up the body. Then whenever someone begins to show a little skin, lust sets in. But if nothing is covered up, then its no big deal.

    Think of the Victorian era when women wore long coats and covered everything. If a woman would show her arms or her neck…she was a “hussy” (if that’s the right word). But then think of sunny Southern California, Miami, or even the Meditteranean where A LOT of skin is shown. They don’t have the problems of sexual lust…its just kind of normal.

    Another interesting aspect about this is the Scriptural support that a lot of colonies endorse. Its hard to argue with their desire to return to an Eden-like-state. I hope that convo about this continues. It is quite interesting

  6. Kc says:

    I have followed your lead (not sure where you got the idea)and find myself doing much better at not judging. 😉

    I would say that if there is any doubt then best to abstain. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

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