Naturism, or nudism, is a movement advocating and defending social nakedness, most but not all of which takes place on private property. Social nudity has been practised in various forms by many in every time period. In Western society nowadays, social nudity is most frequently encountered in the contexts of , swimming and in , whether in single-sex groups, within the family or with mixed-sex friends, but throughout history and in many tropical cultures until now, nudity was a norm at many sports events and competitions
Christians, as a whole, are opposed to public nakednes, even though, 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.
Medieval Public Bath House
|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:
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. Gym=nastics and gymnasium share
the same root word (Gr gymnos)- naked..
The first English naturists adopted the name Gymnosophy as a 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 1951The
Digambars, 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 nudism trying to emulate the purity of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.