Theater of Nudity

Alessandro Vettori

in Poets of Divine Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223251
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240913 | DOI:

Series: Fordham Series in Medieval Studies

Theater of Nudity

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In 1205 Francis of Assisi stood naked before the people and naked before God. This publicly is a crucial occurrence in the Saint's life that later became a cultural icon of the Franciscan movement. The stripping action carries strong symbolic connotations. Theologically, it is significant that the naked Francis received refuge and shelter in the bishop's open cloak, which stands for the arms of the Church welcoming a convert. Clothing protects human beings and separates them from one another and from the environment by constructing an anthropological and social barrier between body and space. This function of clothing punctuates biblical accounts of early mankind. Franciscans attempt to reach back to the pure state of humanity as portrayed in the Book of Genesis and to join the initial Fall with the advent of redemption on the cross. Nudity stands as the protagonist of both occurrences.

Keywords: Francis of Assisi; Franciscan; nudity; naked; Church; clothing; humanity; Book of Genesis

Chapter.  16285 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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