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: 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.  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.