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Denison Journal of Religion

Abstract

This essay examines the two creation stories in the Hebrew Bible, and reinterprets the nakedness present in those stories. While nakedness is frequently seen as a shameful condition of humanity, Toler reminds the reader that it is part of the creation that God declared to be "good." Though nudity is associated with tumultuous moments in the relationship between humanity and God, Toler argues that it is fear of God, not fear or shame of nakedness that motivates the uncomfortable moments like the one when Adam and Eve hid from God behind a bush. Today, nakedness is so often associated with poverty, sickness, and other forms of social exile that it has become a mortifying reality of the human condition and one that has aided in the oppression of the disadvantaged. Toler argues that remembering that God created humanity in God's own image (imago dei), and without covering, reclaims nakedness from a shameful state and makes it an inherent part of humanity that God loves deeply.

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