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Poets of Divine LoveThe Rhetoric of Franciscan Spiritual Poetry$
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Alessandro Vettori

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223251

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823223251.001.0001

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Theater of Nudity

Theater of Nudity

(p.3) 1 Theater of Nudity
Poets of Divine Love

Alessandro Vettori

Fordham University Press

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

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