|Illuminated parchment, Spain, ca AD 950–955,
depicting the Fall of Man (Wiki)
Why was it that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the first thing they became aware of was their own nakedness?
Of all the sins, hasn’t only the sexual one to do with or against the body? (1Cor. 6:18).
Why is it that following the Original Sin, nakedness is considered shameful? Even the heavenly hosts appear clothed in all visions.
[There is no mention that Adam and Eve were covered with a glorious light. If they were, it would have been mentioned so – that they were naked but were not ashamed because they were covered with a glorious light; however, it only says that their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked.]
From the above, do we infer that the first consequence of sin was ALIENATION?
Alienation from God resulted in Fear (because of nakedness, Gen.3:10)
– They hid.
Alienation from Fellow humans resulted in Shame (because of nakedness, Gen.2:25; 3:7)
– They sew aprons of fig leaves. They were the only two humans; the rest was the animal world. So, why did they sew fig leaves to make aprons?
“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons” (Gn 3:7). This is the first sentence of the Yahwist narrative, which refers to man’s situation after sin and shows the new state of human nature. Does not this sentence also suggest the beginning of lust in man’s heart?…
….Genesis 2:25 emphasizes that they “were both naked, and were not ashamed.” But Genesis 3:6 speaks explicitly of shame in connection with sin. That shame is almost the first source of the manifestation in both man and woman of what “is not of the Father, but of the world.” – Pope John Paul II, Theology of the Body, April 30, 1980.
Why does sexual sin feature first in most places? (Gen.6:1,2; Rom.1:24,26,27; 1Thess.4:4,5,7) (Augustine couldn’t ignore it; neither could Freud; but, Frankl noticed that in adverse conditions, when things are not Edenic (like in the Concentration Camp), the desire was forgotten– but, what if all things were well; and, for instance, when power was absolute, like in war-time…Gen.6:1,2).
Suppose now that there were two such magic rings [that on turning made the wearer invisible], and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a god among men. – Plato, The Republic
The original sense of nakedness, however, is beyond the sexual sense. For why would they need to cover themselves from each other, if the sexual sense was all that was to it; since they were husband and wife? But, they weren’t afraid of each other, for both were guilty; they were afraid of God. (To note: Modern man neither fears God nor is ashamed of nakedness)
- Clothing is not just a symbol; it is a remedy… it is a basic need.
- Physically it covers against the antagonistic physical forces.
- Psychologically it remedies shame by hiding nakedness.
- Nakedness needs to be hid because man has become a private being.
- Nakedness relates to the organs primarily associated with sexuality.
- “Culture” (concepts and customs) play important rule in defining “nakedness” and “shame”
- “Cover” indicates the need for privatization of sexuality in a world that has grown adverse. It symbolizes the first instance of alienation and threat of privacy and dehumanization by bestial humans. “Uncovering” is only permitted where mutual self-giving has occurred through a nuptial covenant. To “uncover” would mean to bare the private areas; to “know” would mean to experience the privacy of the other through union. These are terms conditioned by the culture of shame. (Theology of Clothing: Discussion Points and Questions)