On the Vital Connection between Religion and Global Health
In March 2016, Marginalia Review of Books featured PLT Contributor Susan Holman to discuss Beholden: Religion, Global Health, and Human Rights, recipient of the 2016 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Holman discusses her writing process and major ideas found in Beholden, emphasizing the important implications of understanding public health, human rights, and social justice within the context of religion and culture.
In the interview, Holman reflects:
“I think we need to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration or at least a willingness to listen and think about these connections in terms of positive synergy, because that’s what health is really about. Health is really about that synergy of many different areas in life working together well, and in that goal, it kind of goes back to the idea that most religions share a moral core to ideals about caring for the sick poor. This includes that affirmation that everyone should have food, clothing, shelter, and economic social security… So there is important circular dialogue that encourages us to think across many different aspects. Health and justice solutions are never simple.”
Susan R. Holman is senior writer at the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University. As an academic writer and editor, her work explores connections between public health, nutrition, human rights, and religious responses to poverty, particularly examples from early Christianity. Her publications also include The Hungry are Dying (2001) God Knows There’s Need (2009).