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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
That Famous Fig Leaf: Uncovering the Holiness of Our Bodies by Chad W. Thompson is a Christian non-fiction book that addresses the sexuality and shame that have consumed our human state of nakedness throughout history. Using a combination of scripture, studies, documented and well-known stories, and common sense, Thompson breaks this guide down into eight succinct chapters that encompass everything from the human disconnect between spirituality and our bodies (“...the mystery of God on the one hand, and the mystery of the human body on the other...”) to the travesty of body ideals that are a wholly social construct (“We measure ourselves not against an ideal of health...but against created icons, fantasies made flesh.”). Throughout, Thompson champions that argument of our bodies being the perfect creation of God and that viewing it in exactly this way would eliminate the overall sexualization of the human body and all that it encompasses.
It might have been written with a Christian foundation, but I think That Famous Fig Leaf has the relevance and weight to sway even the most skeptical of (non-Christian) readers alongside those who will find it perusing for Christian philosophy. Chad W. Thompson is able to deftly balance a witty and engrossing narrative with the facts to back them up. I lost track of the number of “Ah-ha!” moments I had reading this book, as well as the number of times I turned to my wife and said, “Listen to this...!” Thompson is timely in the release of this book as a new generation—one which leans firmly against hashtags that defy the mechanisms behind the sexualized body—is fighting on the forefront to end centuries of conditioning to the contrary. This is a book I'd just as quickly pass on to my grandmother as I would my daughter, and—even more importantly—sit down to discuss and read with a son. Highly, highly recommended.