Jessica Hardin's new book Faith and the Pursuit of Health: Cardiometabolic Disorders in Samoa (Rutgers University Press, 2018)explores how Pentecostal Christians manage chronic illness in ways that sheds light on health disparities and social suffering in Samoa, a place where rates of obesity and related cardiometabolic disorders have reached population-wide levels. Pentecostals grapple with how to maintain the health of their congregants in an environment that fosters cardiometabolic disorders. They find ways to manage these forms of sickness and inequality through their churches and the friendships developed within these institutions. Examining how Pentecostal Christianity provides many Samoans with tools to manage day-to-day issues around health and sickness, Jessica Hardin argues for understanding the synergies between how Christianity and biomedicine practice chronicity.
Dana Greenfield, MD PhD is a resident physician in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed her PhD in Medical Anthropology from UCSF/UC Berkeley in 2015 and MD at UCSF in 2018. Reach her at email@example.com on Twitter @DanaGfield.