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Religion, Nakedness and the Human Form

When: Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: GC601 Montagu Lecture Theatre, Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS


This lecture explores how Christianity in particular has understood, monitored and sought to control nakedness, demonstrating the remarkable tenacity of these fears over a long period and in a variety of locations.


Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?’ Religion, Nakedness and the Human Form

The human body has always been a central religious concern: from exhortations to fight temptation and desire, to honouring the body as a temple and clothing the body to connote adherence and religiosity, it has invariably been a focal point of theological and religious anxiety. The unclothed body was, for the most part, an even greater threat to the authority claimed by religious leaders than one concealed by garments. The naked human has long been (and remains) a religious battleground, heralded by some as a barometer of the threat or promise of secularisation, and by others as an issue with considerable doctrinal significance.

About the Speaker

Philippa Levine, Professor at the Department of History at University of Texas at Austin and Global Professorial Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests are the British Empire; intersections of race and gender; science, medicine and society.

About the Event

A drinks reception reception will follow the lecture. All are welcome, but please register on the Eventbrite page.

This event is co-organised with the School of History at Queen Mary University of London.


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