|About the Book|
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.