Why we need to bring back the art of communal bathing—Jamie Mackay, Aeon
The eclipse of communal bathing is one symptom of a wider global transformation, away from small ritualistic societies to vast urban metropolises populated by loose networks of private individuals. This movement has been accompanied by extraordinary benefits, such as the mass availability and movement of services and commodities, but it has also contributed to rampant loneliness, apathy and the emergence of new psychological phenomena, from depression to panic and social anxiety disorders. ‘Urban alienation’, a term much-used by sociologists at the start of the 20th century, has become a cliché for describing today’s world.
It is difficult to imagine a more powerful counter-image to the dominant picture of modernity than the archetypal bathhouse.