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Them That Believe: The Power and Meaning of the Christian Serpent-Handling Tradition

Ralph Hood, Jr. and W. Paul Williamson


Although outlawed in many states, serpent handling remains an active religious practice—and one that is far more stereotyped than understood. The authors of this volume have spent fifteen years touring serpent-handling churches in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and West Virginia, conducting scores of interviews with serpent handlers, and witnessing hundreds of serpent-handling services. In this book chapters present in-depth, comprehensive study of serpent handling. They not only explore facets of this religious practice—including handling, preaching, and the near-death ... More

Keywords: serpent-handling churches, religious practice, serpent-handling services, preaching, near-death experiences

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780520231474
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520231474.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ralph Hood, Jr., author

W. Paul Williamson, author