Service and Leadership in Four Religious Traditions


Currently, there are many and different religions in the world and still growing as most humans believe in a deity existence somewhere, who is more powerful to all creation in the world.  However, the top four examples of the significant and widespread religions are, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. Therefore, the different religions have different levels of influence on leadership and service delivery. As seen in almost all of the religious traditions named before, they all portray these leadership attributes and behaviours by leaders. They should embrace and practice, Honesty, Faithfulness, Integrity, Role modelling, Appreciation of others, Stewardship, Trust, Teaching and Empowerment among other more similar positive leadership attributes.

Both Judaism and Christianity have almost same stands related to this issue of leadership and service. This is because they share some portions of their Scriptures called, Old Testament.  Islam shows oppression of women leading to a sense of denial for them to practice leadership and offer services as they are banned from doing several activities. For example, a Muslim woman with preaching gift, which is also a leadership skill, can't practice it since the religion doesn't allow them to do so. (An-Na'im, &Henkin, 2000).  On the contrary in Christianity, you will find some Protestant denominations authorise the initiation of women and endorsements for them to have unlimited access to all levels of service and leadership. Though the two religions, Judaism and Christianity still have not perfected the issues related to gender discrimination on leadership, they tend to have a better record on the subject as compared to the Islam and Buddhism religions. Compared to the two previous religious traditions, Buddhism seems more compatible with servant leadership since it has an emphasis on the interrelatedness of all creation and humanity (Banutu-Gomez, M. B. 2004).

In service of giving, it is found that some Buddhist monks discriminate between donors based upon ideas of merit and uncleanness, this judgement denies some people or groups the ability to earn merit towards nirvana. As opposed to the other religions, the judgement on the purity of service delivered by individuals is left for the gods to decide, therefore no limitation for people to serve the god or the community (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May 2004).

Since the similarities among the four religions have preceded the differences, it shows commonness of the religious practices across the traditions. This has changed my negativity about the other religion on the line of leadership and service since they also teach and embrace the same merits as for same as in my religion. It also helps in maintenance of cohesion and consistency within the four religions.

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