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Them That Believe: The Power and Meaning of the Christian Serpent-Handling Tradition (New)
by Hood, Ralph Jr.
Publisher: University of California Press
Book ID: 9780520255876, 0520255879
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"There is no competing work that matches Them That Believe; it is both original and stimulating. The scholarship is superior, and reflects well the 15 years the authors have worked on this project. This is an outstanding work." -- Margaret Poloma, author of Main Street Mystics: The Toronto Blessing and Reviving Pentecostalism
"This book provides one of the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched reports on serpent handling Christians ever written. The use of multiple methodological lenses (e.g., sociology, ethnographic participant-observation, phenomenological psychology) adds a depth and richness not seen in other works. The book is very well written and arranged, and the scholarship is excellent." -- Stephen Parker, author of Led by the Spirit: Toward a Practical Theology of Pentecostal Discernment and Decision Making
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 Believe not 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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