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Religion and Healing - Essay Example

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Religion and Healing

Religious healing causes a healing of the person as a whole as opposed to physical healing only and some people have even abandoned the medical doctors in search for religious healers. In this paper, a critical analysis of three religions would be conducted so as to identify the practices involved in comparison to common practice and Christianity. The three religions include Buddhism, Sikhism and Bahaism.
There have been major conflicts between faith healing and biomedical practice in the modern era due to diverse perspectives by the two as much as there are coinciding views. Barnes and Seres note that there were dramatic changes in the 1990s that caused religious healing to become a common feature in the American society (2004). The number of synagogues and churches conducting healing services increased and the use of alternative therapies increased. Similarly, there were amendments on immigration laws that saw America flock with various cultural communities bringing in their approaches to healing. Some of these included the Buddhist priests from Cambodia, herbalist acupuncturists from China, Hmong shamans and the santeros from Cuba. Buddhism has been described by many scholars as a religion that focuses more on philosophic principles as opposed to beliefs like Christianity (Pilgrimage India, 2009). Buddhists believe that in his early life, Buddha, also referred to as the great physician, learnt medicine and gained knowledge on the nature of diseases and the cure which enabled him guide the other people into healthy living. Buddhism would not delve so much into the meaning of sickness but rather on what a patient needs to do to be whole. In this religion, suffering would be a consequence of anger, greed, lust or passion of hatred. In Christianity, these would be considered as sin which eventually cause suffering according to Exodus 17 (New King James Version). Buddhism argues that physical and mental wellness would be achieved through developing a centered and unified personal approach to life. The well being of the body would come through the synthesis of the body and mind where the psychological, physical and spiritual dimensions form a continuum and an active interrelation. While the common perception has been that the body and flesh; spirit and matter; and soul and body are distinct, Buddhists see all these as a process where these features are interdependent and one. The mind influences how the body would be. Therefore, hospitals should provide appropriate environment for people to be trained on meditative awareness no matter the religious principles upheld in the institution. The inner resources could be optimized for healing and for personal health responsibility. Buddhism does not involve miracle cures such as those conducted by Jesus in the New Testament (Kajitani, 2005). Instead, it deals with methods that involve one’s emotional elements which accompany pain and at times intensify it. Dalai Lama observes that happiness is not a result of feeling, but rightful thinking, which involves transformation of a person’s understanding of existent nature (Bryson, 2009). All problems are a result of negative thinking. Naikan therapy helps one appreciate their independence with others resulting to a positive force that offsets personal problems which induce negativity. Morita therapy on the other hand tries to close the gap between the world as it is and the world as thought to be by filling it with positivity. Buddhists uphold inner healing which would then translate to the physiological healing. Therefore, it would be important to respect their religion when treating them if the physician is from a ...Show more

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Today, arguments on religious healing would be in the context of the modern biomedicine. For example, there have been arguments against the scientific biomedicine in that its aggressive treatments cause bodily imbalance…
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