The aspects of health and disease create a significant portion of the shared understandings of human existence meaning that it influences the diverse elements of religion practiced in various societies. Historical documentations demonstrate that health has all along been an essential aspect that ensures sustainability of the well-being of humanity thereby adding value to life (Smith & Marranca, 2009). In this regard, diverse faiths provide the faithful with different ways and means of bolstering the management of their health in a manner that curbs their vulnerability to disease, pain, and suffering. In this respect, the Christian and Buddhism faiths provide its believers with explanations regarding the aspects of health and disease in a way that upholds the essence of life.
The Buddhism faith, tracing its roots from Nepal, India, supports practices that focus on wisdom, morality, and meditation to bolster the health of the adherents. On the other hand, Christianity draws its roots from Judea underscores the relevance of prayer, charity, worship, the Holy Communion, and studying the Bible in the path towards attaining sound health among its devotees. Thus, this paper purposes to conduct a comparative analysis on the Christian and Buddhist perspectives regarding healthcare provision and its implications for healthcare practice.
The Christian’s worldview relating the aspect of prime reality embraces the actuality of only one God. Further, the prime reality in the Christian faith identifies Himself as “I am who I am.” Moreover, Christian adherents perceive their prime reality as Triune, omniscient, good, immanent and transcendent, and sovereign. The Christian attitude towards the issue of health emphasizes that an external supernatural being created man and Christians should pursue their oneness with Him for the realization of their well-being.
Conversely, Buddhism disregards the religious worldview of prime reality. Nonetheless, later introduction of objects that represented the Buddhist deity unearths their perceptions regarding the element of prime reality in their religion. In this light, Buddhists do not subscribe to the notion of an external deity by upholding that spontaneity determines existence just like in the case of seeds broadcasted on the ground would germinate under the required conditions. Additionally, Buddha refused to agree that he was God by answering that he was awake implying the nirvana, extinguishing of oneself (Smith & Marranca, 2009). Thus, the Christian and Buddhist worldviews of the issue of prime reality contradict indicating that the former believers look upon the external God for existence while the latter embraces the concept of nirvana for their well-being.
Nature of the World
The Christian faith believes that the world’s creation emanated from nothing meaning that the universe is subjective and independent to God (Pesut, Fowler, Taylor, Reimer‐Kirkham, & Sawatzky, 2008). In this respect, the world’s phenomena lack infinity and eternity due to its contingent and dependent on God. Besides, the creation of the world represents a depiction of God’s power of the universe that also portrays God as an independent being detached from the creation. By viewing God’s creation as His representation, Christians associate his creation with testability, predictability, and regularity.
On the Contrary, Buddhists associate the environment with cyclical development implying that the world has neither a start, nor an end. The Buddhist faith believes that rebirth is an outcome of cyclical creation emanating from human suffering due to disease or other adversities. Further, the Buddhist deity forms part of the revolving wheel that keeps the universe spinning (Tsai, Miao, & Seppala, 2007). Thus, comparing the two faiths, Christianity associates man with the image of God thus would embrace habits that curb pain, suffering, or disease. Conversely, Buddhists associate pain, illness, and suffering with the cycle of events that facilitate the world’s rotation through the concept of rebirth.
The Christian faith believes that human beings are created in God’s likeness. In the pursuit of a personal relationship with God, Christian adherents are required to maintain moral accountability, self-consciousness, freedom to make sound choices, intelligence, and spirituality in their undertakings (Tsai et al., 2007). In this light, Christians are expected to engage in mutually loving relationships that characterize the personality of the divine Trinity and fellowship with God not only in the current life but also eternally.
On the other hand, Buddhists identify human beings as a single unit with God. For the existence of Buddhists, the believers ought to underline the significance of the unity with all reality (Pesut et al., 2008).In this respect, the issue of individualism is discouraged in Buddhism for the sake of realizing the well-being of the supporters in a collaborative manner. Thus, as Christians embrace the loving relationships for the bolstering sound health, Buddhists similarly hold the essence of unity that identifies the believers with God in a bid to improve their well-being.
What occurs at death?
The question of what occurs in the event of death has raised concerns among the believers of different faiths. In Christianity, the issue of eternity is common as the adherents believe that the choices that one makes while living and relationship with God determines their eternal life. In this regard, Christianity upholds that second coming of Jesus would necessitate the resurrection of the adherents since life is God’s crucial concern for humanity (Smith & Marranca, 2009). For this reason, Christian eternity could exist in either heaven or hell with the possibility of a temporary purgatory after death.
The Buddhist religion bars itself from the issue concerning the eternal life. Nonetheless, Buddhism upholds the realization of Nirvana that assures an individual rebirth into any of the 321 planes of life in a repeated manner linked to their karma (Pesut et al., 2008). In this respect, Buddhism and Christianity regard the possibility of an eternal life dependent of the individual’s way of life.
The possibility of knowing anything at all
Finding reality acts as an important element of life as it enhances man’s understanding of different phenomena. For Christians, their source of knowledge is God. In this light, Christians ought to display their knowledge by utilizing the intelligence granted by God in their undertakings to portray their understanding of His creation. Thus, Christians should acquire the necessary knowledge reinforced by Christians’ teachings regarding the vitality of maintaining good health. However, the problematic issue of moral pervasiveness prevents Christians from sustaining a desirable well-being collectively. Additionally, Christian faithful hold that revelations concerning God’s reality and the actual understanding of life and death form their source of true knowledge (Cobb, Puchalski, & Rumbold, 2012).
Knowledge generation among Buddhists focuses on endeavors that extract truth from the universe and analyzing themselves to link with their divinity, their real selves (Tsai et al., 2007). In regard, the Buddhist sources of knowledge are innate while Christians associate their source of reality with God. Therefore, Christians link with God through prayer about matters of their well-being or health as the Buddhists engage in concentration or meditation for self-care.
Moral goodness is a vital virtue in the Christian religion as depicted by the perfect goodness of God. In a similar fashion, Christians are expected to practice uprightness in their undertakings to attain moral goodness (Sorajjakool, Carr, & Nam, 2009). Owing to the pressures of secularism, maintaining moral goodness has become a challenge among the Christian faithful resulting in issues that weaken the well-being of humanity as depicted by the emergence of diseases like HIV/AIDS considered as a pandemic in regions like Africa. In this regard, the blemishing God’s perfect goodness through sin implies that Christians ought to seek a healthy relationship with God through salvation. Through salvation, Christians expect healthy living in within the ethical standards embraced by the religion.
Conversely, Buddhists perceive the concept of since as ignorance of the actual attribute associated with reality. Due to the relativity of the morality concept, the adherents concentrate on attentiveness instead of repentance of their wrong deeds (Sorajjakool et al., 2009). For this reason, the monks in Buddhism unceasingly advocate against killing, stealing, lying, use of intoxicants, and sexual immorality. Moreover, acts that deserve recognition as morally right include those that lead to beneficial outcomes to the greatest number of Buddhism believers.
The meaning of human history
Past events have implications for the present and future state of affairs. In the Christian worldview regarding history, the series of past events reveal the path through which the adherents take to realize God’s planned goals (Cobb et al., 2012). The fact that history does not embrace a reversibility cycle, Christians uphold that the similarity of events does not represent exactness of situations. Thus, the well-being of a person is dependent on unique aspects of their life. Christians glorify God by acknowledging past events that are meaningful to the faithful since the religion approaches history from a teleological viewpoint. Contrarily, Buddhists disregard the essence of history as it embraces the concepts of rebirth and karma.
Critical components in the faiths concerning healing
Christianity and Buddhism among different faiths have fundamental components that encourage the mending process among the devotees. Case in point, the Buddhist trust that great karma advances great well-being suggesting that maintaining ethical quality is crucial. Besides, the recuperating process among the Buddhists includes the reconciliation of endeavors from the body and mind to battle the sickness. Then again, Christians consider themselves as God’s image bearers. Therefore, they endeavor to shield the body from illness as it speaks to the picture of their maker (Sorajjakool et al., 2009).
Benefits of getting healthcare services from practitioners of a different faith
Administering healthcare services to people of an alternate religion has significant advantages to the client as well as to the caregiver’s well-being and the organization. Firstly, the methodology would encourage the backing for spiritual resources that would support the recuperating process relating the psychological and physical prosperity. Besides, the patients could profit through the caregivers’ adapting ways to deal with recuperating such as the contribution of the internal identity to battle emotional disequilibrium (Tsai et al., 2007). Thirdly, the approach enhances the healthcare organization’s image since it demonstrates empathetic spiritual-based services to people from differing beliefs. Fourthly, the association of various beliefs amid human services conveyance improves the relationship working between the patient and the well-being professional (Cobb et al., 2012).
The otherworldly and religious way to deal with healthcare services delivery is exceptionally urgent for the incorporation of the customized approaches for the conveyance of high standard services. In this regard, the diverse worldviews concerning religion and its application to well-being issues have been crucial in opening new viewpoints. Therefore, a multi-faith based approach to the provision of healthcare services would enhance the quality of service delivery owing to the various benefits emanating from the diverse approaches.
Cobb, M., Puchalski, C., & Rumbold, B. (2012). Oxford textbook of spirituality in healthcare. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Pesut, B., Fowler, M., Taylor, E. J., Reimer‐Kirkham, S., & Sawatzky, R. (2008). Conceptualizing spirituality and religion for healthcare. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17(21), 2803-2810.
Smith, H., & Marranca, R. (2009). The world’s religions. New York, NY: HarperOne.
Sorajjakool, S., Carr, M., & Nam, J. (2009). World religions for healthcare professionals. London, UK: Rutledge.
Tsai, L., Miao, F., & Seppala, E. (2007). Good feelings in Christianity and Buddhism: Religious differences in ideal affect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(3), 409-421.