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The Meaning of Health and Illness in Religion Coursework

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Updated: Jun 18th, 2022

The concept of the “image of God” reflects the symbolic relationship that exists between God and man. The concept portrays man as a being showcasing the likeness (in characteristics) and nature of God. This means that man has unique attributes that are similar to those that define God (Shelly & Miller, 1999). They include creativity, consciousness, personality moral judgment and abstract thinking. This perception of the concept impacts our definition of nursing in the following ways: nurses are often described as compassionate and nurturing people who love, care and support others in times of need and hardships. Restoration of health (healing) has been documented (mentioned 129 times in the bible) as one of God’s abilities and an example of love and care for humanity.

A whole is assumed to be greater than the parts that unite to form them. As such, a human being is never whole unless the three main components (body, soul and spirit) are present. These three components greatly influence each other. The human body represents the physical part, the soul represents the psychosocial part and the spirit represents the spiritual part (Colson & Pearcey, 1999). The body enables human beings to survive (walk, talk among other bodily functions) while the soul enables them to interact, relate and form emotional bonds with each other. Finally, the spirit acts as a moral compass on which moral judgments can be based on. Therefore, these parts are well connected and are often considered when describing a particular human being.

An individual’s perception of health and illness depends mainly on their cultural background and education level. Most cultures define illnesses and health as forms of curses and blessings. As such, people with such beliefs may refuse to take medical advice because they take illnesses as a form of punishment for wrongs done. On the other hand, educated people define health and illness as products of metabolic processes. Consequently, doctors are often consulted by these people to provide medical solutions for the illness.

References

Colson, C., & Pearcey, N. (1999). How now shall we live? USA: Tyndale House Publishers.

Shelly, J., & Miller, A. (1999). Called to care: a Christian theology of nursing. USA: InterVarsity Press.

Sire, J. (2009). The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog: Fourth Edition: Easyread Large Edition. USA: ReadHowYouWant.com.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Meaning of Health and Illness in Religion." June 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-meaning-of-health-and-illness-in-religion/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Meaning of Health and Illness in Religion'. 18 June.

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