To Have Life, and Have it Abundantly! Health and Well-Being in Biblical Perspective

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Epidemiological studies researching the impact of participation in religious activities on the overall health and well-being of individuals suggest that having faith and practicing religion is good since they represent expense free, non-medical coping mechanisms accessible to everyone. Faith and religion, thus, can serve for a large number of people as potential reservoirs for cultivating well-being and maintaining health, thereby cutting health-care costs significantly. This begs the question if such pragmatic instrumentalization does do justice to faith and religion in the first place. The article investigates this question taking the Christian biblical tradition as an example by, first, identifying texts speaking of 'health' across different Bible versions (I), second, by sketching related concepts of 'health' (II) and, finally, by assessing the actual extent to which biblical tradition supports the quest for health and well-being (III).