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Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism Essay

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Updated: Sep 17th, 2021

Introduction

Nobody can avoid dying because people cannot live forever. Birth and death are part of everybody’s life: birth is the beginning of living, and death is the end of it. However, Christianity offers another view: death is not the end; it is the beginning of a completely new existence, free of suffering and full of joy. Buddhism, similar to Christianity, views death as the beginning of the new life, not the eternal one, though, but the new life on earth in another body.

Death, according to Bible

As it is written in John 5.24, whoever believes in Jesus Christ will have eternal life and will not be condemned, thus he will cross over from death to life. According to this line, death may lead to nothing, emptiness, and at the same time, it can lead to the new form of life, the eternal existence of the soul. However, Christianity holds the special prerequisite: believing in Jesus Christ as the son of God and that His death has marked the offer of eternal life to all of His followers.

Paul has devoted many verses to teaching the believers about earthy life, death, and life after death. He notes that it is important to be dead to sin but be alive to God. It means that humans must resist the earthy temptations which take them from God, and they should take care of their soul prior to death and be willing and ready to accept the Word of God into their lives. “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of weakness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness” (Letters of Paul).

The notion of death is also covered in Colossians 3. It is written that evil desires, greed, lust, sexual immorality, idolatry, anger, rage, filthy languages, and other negative emotions and actions are sins. If the person fails to get rid of them, he will die forever; his soul will cease to exist. However, if the person leads a righteous life, follows the commandments of God, and believes in Jesus Christ with all of his heart, he will not die but find an eternal life after his earthy life ends.

Death according to Buddhism

Despite holding very different views, Christians and Buddhists have a common perception of death and life after death. Buddhists also believe that evil desires bring the person to death and end his existence. It is written in the Bible that eternal life is available to all, but not everybody can find the path to it. It is not only about proper actions; it is about the deep inner belief in God. According to Buddhism, death is not a release from earthy sufferings; it is the prelude to rebirth, to the new life, either on earth on in eternity. Returning to the Buddhism assumption of emptiness, death, and life, as dual concepts, are related, and one cannot come without another; thus, when the person dies, he will be reborn.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Christian view of death helps the believers to follow the guidance of God because they know that their deeds will be considered, that their actions and thoughts do matter. Thus, eternal life after death is like a reward for the righteous life. Buddhism, on the contrary, does not offer eternal life; however, it does not support having evil thoughts, feelings, and deeds as well. If Christians hope for eternal life after death, Buddhists seek to find the right Path.

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IvyPanda. (2021, September 17). Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism. https://ivypanda.com/essays/death-and-dying-in-christianity-and-buddhism/

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IvyPanda. (2021, September 17). Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/death-and-dying-in-christianity-and-buddhism/

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"Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism." IvyPanda, 17 Sept. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/death-and-dying-in-christianity-and-buddhism/.

1. IvyPanda. "Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism." September 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/death-and-dying-in-christianity-and-buddhism/.


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IvyPanda. "Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism." September 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/death-and-dying-in-christianity-and-buddhism/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism." September 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/death-and-dying-in-christianity-and-buddhism/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism'. 17 September.

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