Anthropology Professor Jessica Hardin Published
Jessica Hardin, Anthropology, recently published a chapter in the volume of New Mana: Transformation of a Classis Concept in Pacific Languages and Cultures, about how Christians use indigenous concepts of pule and mana as ways to express individual agency in a context where there is a suspicion about individual claims to authority.
"Claiming pule and channeling mana mediates tensions surrounding Pentecostal Christians striving for individual agency and indigenous notions of exile and context-specific notions of agency, which are also expressed in mainline Christianity," Hardin wrote. "Pentecostal Christians are explicitly taught how to manage individual agency in ethical ways through cultivating a personal relationship with God, which enables supplicants to become agents of mana. Claiming pule and channeling mana are thus discursive tools for managing tensions surrounding agency by allowing born-again Christians to de-center individual agency and foreground God’s agency."
Hardin, a medical anthropologist, studies how people make illness, health and disease meaningful. She also studies the relationship between structural inequalities and health, and how Samoan people in independent Samoa understand rapid epidemiological change. Hardin's interests in research include medicalization, Christianity and health, food, metabolic disorders and fat issues.