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Nudism & Naturism

Nudity is referred to or implied in many Biblical passages. 

With the exception of St. Paul, followers of Jesus during the first two decades after his execution did not appear to be particularly concerned about sex or the human body. The earliest known Christian writings did not refer to either; its passages concentrated on an individual's relationship with God and with fellow humans. Another indicator was that in the early Church, baptisms were conducted with both the person being baptized and the person performing the baptism being naked, and in the presence of others of both genders.  This was the custom for those baptized as adults in the Church for many centuries.

In the fourth century BC, Alexander the Great of Mecedonia encountered, in India, wandering groups of naked holy men which he dubbed gymnosophists - the naked philosophers. (Gr gymnos: naked; sophist: knowledge ). Onesicritus, the philosopher, investigated their beliefs and lifestyle. Pyrrho, the Sceptic, was impressed and incorporated nudity into his philosophy. The Gymnosophists were Hindus, but Jain and Ajivika monks practiced nudity as a statement that they had given up all worldly goods. Nudity was not a new concept to the Greeks as the Olympic Games (founded in 776 BC) were exclusively male and nude events. Gymnastics and gymnasium share the same root word (Gr gymnos)- naked..
The first English naturists adopted the name Gymnosophy as a thinly disguised euphemism for their pastime. The English Gymnosophical Society was formed in 1922 and became the New Gymnosophy Society in 1926, they purchased the land at 'Bricketts Wood' to become Britain's first nudist colony. One of the first members was Gerald Gardner, who in 1945, established the 'Five Acres Club' nearby, ostensibly as a nudist club, but as a front for Wiccans, as witchcraft was illegal in England until 1951.

 

The Digambar, one of the two main divisions of the Jain religion of India, remain 'skyclad', or naked, though generally it is practiced by males. Digambar means 'clothed with the sky'.  Wiccans have adopted this wording and some still practice their rituals 'skyclad'.

The Adamites, a second century Gnostic  sect, practiced  religious nudism.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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