Nudity and Christianity
Jim C. Cunningham considers his latest 588-page work, Nudity & Christianity, to be his "magnum opus." It represents the fruit of thirty years of research, meditation, discussion and many personal experiences. Though much of the material is new, Jim has included the best of his twenty-three years of naturist publishing. Although all of his previous publications (see naturistlife.com) were highly photographic, this latest is 100% textual, in hopes of reaching those who might be intimidated even by tasteful graphics. The insightful ideas of dozens of authors from various denominations are represented here, from Pope John Paul II to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis to Kahlil Gibran and even Mark Twain.
The purpose of this book is to encourage readers to probe the reasons for wearing clothes. Today, Western convention tends to assume that "nude is lewd," but it was not always that way. For half the Church's history, catechumens--men, women, boys and girls, were routinely baptized together, nude, by full immersion. Today, we recoil at learning this, but how have cultural attitudes toward the body changed to effect this reaction? Jim asks those hard questions about the body and the meaning of true modesty, and exhorts Christians to lead the way in asserting God's definition of the body, rather than Playboy's. Instead of allowing pornographers to define the body for us, and then create a virtue of modesty to fit that false definition, Christians should assert God's definition as found in Scripture and Church Tradition. When we view the body as Jesus did, our definition of modesty becomes radically different from what is conventionally presumed.
Two highly detailed indices (Scriptural and Topical) make this an excellent reference book.
Readers are exhorted to live what they learn. Jim proposes attending "Theology of the Body Retreats." For more information go to JIMCCUNNINGHAM.COM.
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