The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Nudity as an Exceptional Condition

1. First and foremost, nakedness is an expression of human ‘naturalness.’ Further—as complete or partial nudity—it becomes the symbol of ‘immediacy’ in a framework of religious and magic practices. In art, nudity is a metaphor for the True, for Truth in the form of the nude woman. → Clothing defines the daily normal state, when, for instance, climatic conditions ma…

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Lützenkirchen, Hans-Georg and Zander, Helmut, “Nudity”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 20 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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