Although outlawed in many states, serpent handling remains an active religious practice-and one that is far more stereotyped than understood. Ralph W. Hood, Jr. and W. Paul Williamson 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 illuminating book they present the most in-depth, comprehensive study of serpent handling to date.Them That Believenot only explores facets of this religious practice-including handling, preaching, and the near-death experiences of individuals who were bitten but survived-but also provides a rich analysis of this phenomenon from historical, social, religious, and psychological perspectives.
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