Nudity & Christianity




Jim C. Cunningham
ISBN: 9781425975081
2006 by Authorhouse
Paperback, 596 pages
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 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.
Table of Contents
  • Page i: Contact Info, Acknowledgments, Dedication
  • Page ii: Table of Contents
  • Page xv: In Memoriam, Pope John Paul II
  • Page xvi: Foreword, Jim C. Cunningham, Explanation of the mechanics & idiosyncrasies of the book
  • Page xxi: Introduction, Jim C. Cunningham – The editor contextualizes the truths of the book within the framework of the theology of the body
  • Page 1: "Nakedness Is not Immodest", Pope John Paul II – This whole book could be summed up in this one amazing excerpt written while he was a Polish Cardinal
  • Page 2: Let It Shine! Jim C. Cunningham – Most Christians are as far from God’s mind on the body’s goodness as they are on the blessedness of poverty because they listen to the world rather than the Word
  • Page 15: On Modesty, Kahlil Gibran – In his inimitable style, Gibran comes in on the side of the natural purity and modesty of nakedness
  • Page 15: Nudity not Immodest, Giovanni Agnesti, Archbishop of Lucca – This brief quotation from an Italian Catholic archbishop sums it all up in a nutshell
  • Page 16: Born again in Bethlehem, Jim C. Cunningham – Two years after his rebirth to spiritual things, he is born again with respect to the body on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem
  • Page 25: De Nuditate Habituque, Jim C. Cunningham – After seven years of prayer and study, he published this first article on nudity in 1983
  • Page 32: Look Mom, No Clothes! Linda S. Cunningham – Actual letter to her parents explaining newfound truth of the body’s integral goodness
  • Page 35: Don’t Be a Ham—Respect Nudity! Joan Turner – The sin was Ham’s disrespect—not Noah’s nakedness
  • Page 36: Correspondence with Bishop John A. Marshall, Most Rev. John A Marshall & Jim C. Cunningham – In 1983, when his pastor warned him not to approach the Communion rail, Jim appealed to the Bishop of Burlington, Vermont, who said nudism is no sin
  • Page 51: Catholicism and Nudism, Fr. David Alton, Ph.D. – Priest attempts to enlighten many Catholics who presume that social nudity is sinful
  • Page 55: Naked Truth, Jim C. Cunningham – Poem on the honesty of nudity vs. the dishonesty of dress
  • Page 57: Tolerant Pluralism, Paul Redkovich II – Love of God is expressed variously, requiring tolerance
  • Page 57: Occasions of Sin, Fred J. Gerty, Jr. – We should use loving discretion in the presence of those for whom nudity may be an occasion of sin
  • Page 59: Establishing Nude Customs, Jim C. Cunningham – We need to reestablish occasions for chaste nudity
  • Page 64: Hiding the Evidence, Jim C. Cunningham – As criminals hide the implements of their crimes, so Adam & Eve did likewise, covering their loins with fig leaves
  • Page 66: Nakedness: God’s Plan, Wayne C. Olson – Since Adam was not naked when he said he was afraid because he was naked, he was hiding his sin, not his body
  • Page 69: Different Kinds of Naked, Le Roy E. Pickard – Naked is not naked, as different Hebrew words are used in Genesis 2:25 (positive naked) & 3:7 (negative naked)
  • Page 70: Clothes Divide, Joan Turner – If the first symbol of division was clothes, then the best symbol of Christian unity is nudity
  • Page 71: The Body’s Place in Christian Spirituality, Jim C. Cunningham – Authentic spirituality involves the body no less than the soul, and love of God and neighbor requires our bodies
  • Page 76: Pope Entertained by Topless Dancers, Jim C. Cunningham – Perfectly modest in traditional costume, Papuan women dance with breasts bared to welcome John Paul II
  • Page 77: A Priest Discovers the Christian Value of Nudism, Fr. Jonathan Mueller – When doctor orders Fr. Jon to sunbathe nude, his German priest friends bring him to their nudist camp
  • Page 79: The Lustful Dead, Joan Turner – The cause of lust is not the exterior body, but the interior, lustful intention of the heart
  • Page 81: Praise God in your Sunday Best, Jim C. Cunningham – Original, amusing lyrics to the melody of the Easter hymn, "O filii et filiae" ("Ye sons and daughters")
  • Page 82: Baring the Bible, Harold Whitington – Biblical overview shows many examples of godly nudity with no hint of any sexual immodesty
  • Page 87: Nudity In Church, A Roman Catholic Priest – Citing ancient sources, he shows how men, women and children were customarily baptized together in the nude
  • Page 95: The Apostolic Tradition, St. Hippolytus of Rome – The actual, ancient, eye-opening, third century text clearly enjoining group nudity for baptisms
  • Page 99: Circumcision: A Theological View, Jim C. Cunningham – God’s choice of this peculiar, visible, covenantal sign shows He is anything but puritanical
  • Page 102: Nudity in Art, Pope John Paul II – The contemplation of nude art helps show the whole truth, dignity, beauty and supra-sensuality of man
  • Page 103: Jesus: After the Resurrection, Harold Whitington – Jesus’ clothing was stolen on Calvary, and He rose from the dead nude, leaving His burial wraps behind in the tomb
  • Page 103: The Bible & Nudism, Rev. La Rue C. Watson – In both Old and New Testament times, nudity was commonplace and without implications of any immorality
  • Page 113: Streakers & Prophets, Jim C. Cunningham – Streakers, like Old Testament prophets, enjoy "prophetic license" to experience and teach truths
  • Page 114: The Nudification of Culture, Jim C. Cunningham – Body acceptance will not affect culture if chaste nudity is merely ghettoized in restricted places
  • Page 117: A “Scandalized” Catholic, Carol L., M.D. – Moral admonition after seeing the Cunningham family nude in Newsweek and reading about their proposed academy
  • Page 124: Reply, Linda S. Cunningham – Linda responds, explaining her renewal of mind about nudity and the goodness and purity of the body
  • Page 126: Vatican II on the Body, From Gaudium et Spes – Man may not despise his bodily life and is obliged to regard his body as good and honorable since God created it
  • Page 127: Spirituality vs. Sensuality? Our Senses Are for Union! Jim C. Cunningham – Contrary to puritanical belief, both sensuality and sexuality are holy, leading to union with others and God
  • Page 132: Christian Nudist Manifesto, Jim C. Cunningham – Exhortation to Christians to live the truth of the redemption of the whole man — soul and body
  • Page 135: The Naked Fishermen: 7 Reflections (on John 21:4-13), Steve Devore, Paul M. Bowman, Rev. Jeffrey Hitt, Don Haroldsson, Linda S. Cunningham, Rev. Dr. William Caple & Fr. Jim Byrnes – Laymen, ministers and priests reflect on the nakedness of St. Peter while fishing after the resurrection
  • Page 141: Temple of the Spirit, John R. Kane – An article about a nudist priest shocked this Australian to think, and soon he, too, became a Christian naturist
  • Page 144: Ashamed—of the Way God Made Me? Author Unknown – This poem expresses the incompatibility of Christianity and the shame of nudity
  • Page 145: Some Interpretations, Larry Hamilton – An Episcopalian shares insights into Leviticus 18:6-20; Luke 8:27-35; I Timothy 2:9 & Romans 14:14
  • Page 147: On Offense & Discretion, Gene Caywood – While we should be sensitive to those offended by nudity, it is not a question of scandal
  • Page 152: Dialog of Conscience: Nudism & Scandal, Jim C. Cunningham – Applying "The Principle of Double Effect" sheds profound light on the question of nudity and scandal
  • Page 157: Dialog of Conscience: The Cannes Principle, Jim C. Cunningham – Why those who initiated fashion customs no longer deemed immodest were not immodest back then either
  • Page 166: Open Letter to Evangelicals, Paul M. Bowman – Actual letter to pastor & parishioners lucidly defends the naturist lifestyle from the Bible
  • Page 170: Naked, I Follow Naked Jesus, Greg Cook – As drunk driving does not impugn driving itself, neither should pornography impugn wholesome nudity
  • Page 174: Jewish Men Had No “Privates”, Jim C. Cunningham – Jews did not worship the phallus like the pagans, but they highly honored the exposed glans as a covenantal symbol
  • Page 194: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Jim C. Cunningham – Man, soul & body, is the highest perfection of creation & he must regard his body as good and hold it in honor
  • Page 202: As Little Children…, Jim C. Cunningham – Social nudity both requires many child-like qualities such as honesty, and also helps us acquire them
  • Page 212: Commentary: Revelation 3:15-18, Jim C. Cunningham – Scripture itself says the only truly negative kind of nakedness is being bereft of good deeds and virtues
  • Page 216: The Bible & Nakedness, Fig Leaf Forum – A clear, succinct overview on the theme included in each issue of the fig Leaf Forum newsletter
  • Page 217: Commentary: Leviticus 18:6-23, Jim C. Cunningham – The law against "uncovering the nakedness" of close kin concerned sexual intercourse—not nudity
  • Page 220: The Original Sin & the Fig Leaf, Jim C. Cunningham – To understand man’s first invention—clothes—we must first understand the nature of the sin that occasioned them
  • Page 242: All Things to All Men, Bishop Alejandro Labaca – Capuchin Franciscan missionary bishop’s missiology includes adopting native dress (or, rather, lack thereof!)
  • Page 245: On Modesty, C. S. Lewis – Chastity is absolute and universal, but definitions of modesty are culturally relative
  • Page 246: Noah & the Gerasene, Fr. Pat, OFM Cap. – Capuchin priest interprets two Bible stories involving nudity, concluding that not all nudity is appropriate
  • Page 248: Commentary: I Timothy 2:9f, Gary Pence – True Christian modesty means clothing oneself with good works, not fabrics
  • Page 249: To the Pure…, Rev. Jeffrey Allen Mackey – Purified by Christ, unlike fallen Adam, Christians again perceive the purity of their bodies
  • Page 251: YITZ, Joel S. Heller – An amusing fiction vignette based on the non-fiction of Isaiah’s three years of total nudity
  • Page 253: The “Less Honorable” Parts, Jim C. Cunningham – The Christian mind demands a very different attitude toward body parts disdained by the world
  • Page 266: Benedict XVI’s Encyclical, Pope Benedict XVI – In his first encyclical, the pope admits that, in the past, Christian tradition has sometimes opposed the body
  • Page 267: Nudism & Christianity: A Dialog, Jim C. Cunningham – Fictional skit teaches truths about social nudity as one Christian couple explains naturism to another
  • Page 279: Nudity: Humble & Modest, Fr. James G. Dodge, OCSO – When nudity is a realization of our essential nothingness, it is a serious way to a real union with God
  • Page 284: A Rational Choice, Drew Corrigan – This Australian fundamentalist relates his family’s very interesting odyssey towards social nudity
  • Page 293: Spiritual Blindness, Michelangelo Buonarotti – The naked Human body is far more noble & beautiful than the garments with which it is clothed
  • Page 294: Jesus vs. Naturism, Jim C. Cunningham – If authentic faith informs our naturism, there can be no dichotomy such as "Christian first, naturist second"
  • Page 298: Before Hearts Were Hard: The Way We Were, Rick Means – It is valid to appeal to how we were before the fall, as this was how Christ restored permanent monogamy
  • Page 301: Man Created “Modesty”, Mark Twain – A Christian mother’s first duty is to soil her child’s mind, imposing body shame, and she does not neglect it
  • Page 302: Brain-Picking Catholic, Bob Contreras & Jim C. Cunningham – Actual correspondence where Cunningham replies to several concerns of a serious Catholic
  • Page 311: Debates… Debates! Jim C. Cunningham – Cunningham tells the story of his televised debate, "Is Nudity God’s Will?" on PBS TV in 1997
  • Page 314: From Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan – You’ll be surprised to see how non-puritanical this Puritan Christian classic actually is!
  • Page 315: Nude Baptism in the Early Church, Larry Amyett, Jr. – This knowledgeable Protestant reveals many historical truths in ecclesiastical history
  • Page 323: Curiosity, Jim C. Cunningham – Everyday culture should allow for the fulfillment of natural, physical curiosity which is not evil, but a gift from God
  • Page 332: The Naked Pilgrim, Jim C. Cunningham – This autobiographical Fiction teaches many truths about our bodies and their relation to the Body of Christ
  • Page 343: On the Creation of Man, Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Popular Lutheran theologian teaches that man’s body is no mere shell, but is him; he is of earth as well as of God
  • Page 346: What Would People Think?, Jim C. Cunningham – Amusing instances of nudity, authored by God or His Church, that "common sense" would roundly condemn
  • Page 349: Naked on the Cross, Michael A. Kowalewski – Theological, spiritual and moral ramifications of the naked crucifixion, based on the Fathers of the Church
  • Page 359: Body No Big Deal? Jim C. Cunningham – Response to correspondent who downplays the importance of the physical body in the scheme of things
  • Page 363: Belloc No "Angelist", Hilaire Belloc – Catholic intellectual cannot relate to any spirituality without sensuality, nor vice versa
  • Page 364: Woman to Woman, Pat Brindamour & Linda S. Cunningham – Pat seeks advice after her Protestant pastor told her that naturism is harmful for her two sons
  • Page 365: Nakedness: next to Godliness, Jim C. Cunningham – We image God more fundamentally by the very fact of our physical existence and its exposure than by other qualities
  • Page 381: Tolkien’s Naked Fellowship, Linda S. Cunningham – She rejoices that young readers can encounter wholesome nude scenes in this popular Catholic fiction writer
  • Page 383: Commentary: I Thessalonians 5:22, Bill Asseln – Exegesis on avoiding even the appearance of evil
  • Page 384: More on Nude Baptism, Fig Leaf Forum – Additional patristic sources confirm the historical truth that mixed nudity was regarded as the baptismal norm
  • Page 385: The Philokalia: On Spiritual Nakedness, St. Neilos the Ascetic – This orthodox classic matter-of-factly uses cultural nudity as metaphor of necessary, spiritual nakedness
  • Page 388: For Your Eyes Only? Jim Thurman & Jim C. Cunningham – Cunningham responds to Thurman’s wife’s belief that her naked body is for his eyes only
  • Page 394: Nude Wrestling, St. Clement of Alexandria – This eminent, early Father of the Church commends nude wrestling as the ideal Christian sport
  • Page 396: Topless Penitence, Jim C. Cunningham – Isaiah was not only a nude preacher, but he commanded women to go topless as a form of penitence
  • Page 396: Commentary: I Corinthians 10:25-31, Jim C. Cunningham – Whether you eat or drink, dress or undress, do all to the greater glory of God
  • Page 399: Designed for Nakedness, Leigh Orton – Nudity should be the norm for society as that is how we were designed by God
  • Page 403: Nothing Shall I Want, Jim C. Cunningham – Fiction applying good Shepherd Psalm to naturist situation
  • Page 417: The Baptism of the Lord, Orthodox Liturgy – Orthodox ritual insists Christ was naked in the Jordan and this has profound significance
  • Page 418: The Scandal of Neglect, Jim C. Cunningham – The chronic neglect by churchmen to teach truth regarding the body and sexuality is grave scandal
  • Page 426: The Naked Baptism of Christ, Michael A. Kowalewski – Sacramental nakedness makes available a stream of divine grace which flows from the paschal mystery of Christ
  • Page 440: St. Ambrose: The Virtue of Nakedness, Michael A. Kowalewski – Interpretations of the nakedness of two Old Testament giants of faith—Joseph and Isaiah
  • Page 445: Commentary on Job: The Naked Poor, Jim C. Cunningham – None of the many mentions of nudity in Job have anything at all to do with immodesty
  • Page 450: Behold: It Is Very Good! Jim C. Cunningham – Clear, simple, traditional morality applied to naturism, including the application of the "principle of double effect"
  • Page 464: Theology of the Body, Pope John Paul II – Choice, deep excerpts on sexuality and the body from his early weekly Wednesday Angelus audiences
  • Page 464: The Oldest Excuse – Funny Christian joke
  • Page 465: Naked Crucifixion, Winston & Jim C. Cunningham – The loincloth on almost all crucifixes is unscriptural, unhistorical, and an attempt to clothe God in our own hang-ups
  • Page 468: Commentary: James 1:13-16, Jim C. Cunningham – God did not, and cannot, create evil, but created all things, including the human body, for holiness
  • Page 484: Blessed Are the Persecuted, Jim C. Cunningham – The prospect of persecution should not deter us from living truth—including the truth of the body
  • Page 494: St. Paul and the Body, Jim C. Cunningham – When St. Paul sometimes seems to be negative on the body, he is referring to carnality—self-gratifying desires
  • Page 497: Leap of Faith, (Rev.) Charles A. Waugaman – Poem by retired Baptist minister on spring, Easter and nakedness as freedom from sin
  • Page 498: Bodies Wonderful! Jim C. Cunningham – Uplifting exhortation to live the truth of the body
  • Page 509: Scriptural Index
  • Page 532: Topical Index

Information complémentaire

Poids 0.875 kg
Dimensions 23.00 × 15.50 × 4.00 cm


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