Clothing by Michele Saracino

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Clothing: Christian Explorations of Daily Living by Michele Saracino

Clothing by Michele SaracinoStars: ****

Fortress Press (2012)
124 pages

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Summary: Reinhold Niebuhr argued that one of the fundamental challenges to human existence is the anxiety caused by our desire to be perfect and godlike while knowing we are limited and mortal. This book explores how human adornment practices negotiate anxieties about our finitude. Through our clothing, we often shield ourselves from feeling our human frailty and from having others detect our emotional, physical, and spiritual vulnerabilities. Looking at the incarnation as a form of “dress,” Saracino claims that getting naked with Jesus or embracing our vulnerability is our only hope at creating life-giving relationships with God and others in the global world.


This book is one in a series that examples the Christian meanings and implications behind daily living themes such as clothing, playing, shopping, eating, dreaming, parenting, working and traveling.

It’s interesting to think about everyday things in this manner as it’s probably not something you’ve given thought to on your own. I wish I owned the other books as I’d like to read them too.

It’s important to note that in this book, the author includes lots more than is usually meant when we talk about dress. The author includes tattoos, piercing, plastic surgery and weight training. She also talks a lot about the incarnation as a form of dress. That when Jesus came to earth as a human, he put on a form of clothing. This might sound very weird but it will make sense when you read the book.

The book was eye opening but I think I could use a re-read or perhaps to take a class where these ideas are taught because I don’t fully feel like I understand everything she was trying to teach.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.