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Them That BelieveThe Power and Meaning of the Christian Serpent-Handling Tradition$
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Ralph Hood, Jr. and W. Paul Williamson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231474

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231474.001.0001

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Trance States

Trance States

Tongues Speaking and the Anointing

(p.102) Chapter 6 Trance States
Them That Believe

Ralph W. Hood Jr.

W. Paul Williamson

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the socio psychological dynamics of trance states that have been long associated with the practice of various Pentecostal signs—including glossolalia and serpent handling. Trance states are necessary for those who handle either by “faith” or by “anointing.” The major efforts to explain trance states have been physiological. Trance states were found to involve an increased heart rate lowered levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol; and higher levels of beta-endorphins that persisted even after the trance experience ended. Studies focusing on trance states among serpent-handling churches have been limited; there is an abundance of research on Pentecostal groups that link trance with tongues speaking. The combination of contextual cues and physiological dissociation that is likely to interact to explain tongues speaking is also likely to interact to explain handling

Keywords:   trance states, tongues speaking, anointing, glossolalia, serpent handling, Pentecostal groups

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