Healthcare & Faith Research Paper Example
Healthcare is such that there is the need for a professional in the healthcare sector to interact with people of various races, social background and religious origins. Hence, there is the need for some kind of understanding and knowledge to be gained about the main framework through which the differences in religion between patients and professionals/nurses can be carried out in a peaceful and effective manner.
The purpose of this paper is to conduct a comparative analysis of Orthodox Judaism in relation to Christianity and how the philosophies of these two relationships work in the area of providing healthcare. This paper will include the evaluation of the spiritual perspectives of Christianity and Judaism. The commonalities and divergences of Judaism and Christianity that are relevant to healthcare will be reviewed.
Nursing deals with the process of diagnosing and treating issues that are related to the health of people and it involves the provision of services that help people to live healthier lives and improve the quality of their lives. This implies that nursing involves care and the use of systematic and professional systems for the achievement of the best results for people who have health needs and expectations.
Nursing has a strong root in Christianity since the person associated with the founding of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale was of a strong Christian background. There are accounts that indicate that Nightingale had a strong basis for the blending of religion and ethics in order to ensure that nurses use objective standards to save all peoples and all persons.
The worldview of an individual refers to the way the individual sees things around him or her. This includes the values and frameworks within which a person analyses the realities of things and how the individual internalizes things around him in order to draw conclusions and define the best ways of doing things. The relevant variables of worldview as per the definitive textbook, Called to Care include:
The definition of prime reality;
Nature of the world around us;
The worth of a human being and a human life;
The distinction between right and wrong;
The meaning of death and its essence.
These things are defined by a person from two angles – the angle of spirituality and the angle of culture. Culture refers to the relatively stable principles and concepts that are generally accepted by a group of people. Culture is often carved from circumstances and situations that defines the culture of a group of people and hence, culture is based on the values and fundamental essence of the society and the community.
Spirituality on the other hand is interwoven with the history of the people and it defines what is sacred and what is permitted. Spirituality defines a set of practices that informs and influences the characteristics of a given religious movement and shapes the way of life of people in a cultural system and process.
Judaism and Christianity are two highly related religions. The historical departures of Judaism and Christianity forms the basis of the differences between the two religions and it defines the way and manner in which the two religions react to things. The fundamental between Judaism and Christianity include:
Judaism is transmitted from parents to children whilst Christianity goes beyond that to actively seek converts;
Judaism is based on a set of laws and traditions that are strictly applied to people in all situations but Christianity revolves around some basic ideas and does not focus on changing the culture of its members;
Judaism has a tradition that is based on absolute rules that are traced to Moshe (Moses) and his revelation at Sinai but Christianity is based on the idea of the acceptance of Jesus as the son of God and in most cases acceptance of the Trinity
These differences give room for the identification of major divergences and differences between the two religions in relation to healthcare and nursing.
Spiritual Perspective on Healing
The popular view of Jews towards sickness is that sickness is some kind of punishment that is meted to Jews for their past actions and inactions. This is because the Jewish people hold the Torah sacred and in the Torah (first five books of the Bible), God promises Moses and the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28 that if they obey the principles of the Torah, they will be blessed in everything they do and this will include the fact that they will live in health. Hence, a Jew views sickness as some kind of situation linked to some form of disobedience or failure to follow the principles of the Torah.
Christianity on the other hand is steeped in healing as a sign of messianic power and authority. Healing was significant aspect of Jesus’ ministry. And he is seen healing in different parts of Israel. This is one of the things he did that caused divergences between him and the Pharisees.
Sin in Christianity is seen as something that is more associated with the devil, as per some interpretations. On the other hand, the teachings relating to the devil in Judaism are restricted to an esoteric and hidden version of Judaism – Kabbalah. And in the Middle Ages, Jewish people relied heavily on these Kabbalists or mystics who sought to provide various spiritual cures to sicknesses, the rest of the activities to prevent sicknesses were left to Jews who were expected to follow the teachings of the Torah and have a good life.
The nurse will therefore need to understand the philosophies of these two classes of people in relation to the philosophy of healing in order to interact appropriately with Jewish and Christian patients.
Commonalities in Relation to Healing
Christianity in itself is a religion of healing because Christ was a healer. The idea of salvation is linked to the provision of medicine for the body and soul, hence Christianity is based on healing and healing finds its place in Christianity. Isaiah 53:4 indicates that the messiah will take away our infirmities. Hence, there is a basis for people to seek healthcare as Christians.
Jewish Law values human life and the Oral Tradition makes it imperative for people to do what they need to do to save human lives. The Talmud in Baba Kamma 85a states that people must emulate the ways of God and this includes the healing of the sick and the feeding of the destitute.
The two religions benefited from the Protestant reformation and the Renaissance in Europe where scientific methods were put ahead of religious beliefs and superstition. Therefore, a lot of Jewish mystical ideas and Christian ideas on healing as well as Arabic/Islamic secrets to healthcare and treatment were collated and this culminated in the medical system we have today. However, in spite of their contributions, Christians and Jews (particularly Orthodox Jews) have different worldviews that leads to divergences in their worldviews.
Important Pointers of Divergences
Kosher: Jews have a specific diet and this diet implies that they have to be given food cooked by a Jew and it must conform to dietary laws.
Gender: Most Orthodox Jews do not allow members of the opposite sex to touch them.
Mitzvot: There are obligations defined in the Torah that must be carried out according to the Shulchan Aruch because this defines the way Jewish tradition must be observed.
Death: Jews believe death is sacred. Most Orthodox Jews do not support euthanasia and mercy killings.
Ritual baths: Jews must have ritual baths (go to the mikveh) at certain points in time. Each Jew must have at least two baths each year.
Congregational prayers: Jewish men are required to pray in a congregation of 9 other adult Jews three times a day and four times on Saturdays (Shabbat). Women are encouraged to pray in such a congregation of 10 Jews when they can.
Dressing: Jewish men and women have to wear certain cloths and cover some parts of their bodies.
The study indicates that Judaism and Christianity are related religions. They both have the same philosophies relating to the need to use health and other methods to heal sicknesses and provide better treatments to people. However, Judaism is based on a set of clearly defined laws that must be passed on from parents to children whilst Christianity is much more liberal in its outlook. Judaism has a set of rules and regulations that must be obeyed in all situations. This includes keeping kosher, following gender roles, commandments, following rules with death and other rites.
Cutter, W. (2014). Healing and the Jewish Imagination:. Woodstock, : Jewish Light Publishing.
Eliot, T. S. (2014). Notes Towards the Definition of Culture. London: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Ferngren, G. B. (2013). Medicine and Healthcare in Early Christianity. JHU: JHP Press.
Harrion, L. (2013). Professional Practical/Vocational Nursing. Mason, OH: Cengage.
Poorthuis, M., Schwartz, J. J., & Turner, J. (2012). Interaction between Judaism and Christianity in History. New York: BRILL.
Schroeder, P. L. (2014). Monitoring and Evaluation in Nursing. New York: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2013). Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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