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Them That Believe: The Power and Meaning of the Christian Serpent-Handling Tradition [Kindle Edition]

Ralph Hood Jr.
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $28.95
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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"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

About the Author

Ralph W. Hood, Jr. is Professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. W. Paul Williamson is Associate Professor of Psychology at Henderson State University. Hood and Williamson are coauthors, with Peter C. Hill, of The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3047 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (September 2, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003FGWPI6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,992 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just facinating January 10, 2014
By Rose
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is really fascinating. Made me almost (only almost) want to go out and give it a try. Living far to the North that is thankfully not an option!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Simply Awful April 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's amazing that the authors can take on such a interesting and fascinating subject and make it mind-numbingly boring. They're obviously academics, but they only appear to be interested in writing for academics. This books is dull, dull, dull. No self-respecting serpent would strike it.
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By Jacob S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is not an entertaining book at all. It isn't intended to be one. The authors are very studied men who have devoted more time than anyone else in forming healthy, respectful relationships with serpent handlers. This reads like a textbook or a thesis paper so be sure you are looking for scholarly reading if you purchase this. My hat goes off to these men for their work sociological work and the deep respect that they show to those about whom they are writing.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High toned. April 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By far of the least value unless your studying for a degree in Theology.
Very wordy and learned with tons of names and book titles referenced.
written from the perspective of a college professor rather than an old time spirit filled preacher.
IE Long on data, way too analytical for good faith style reading.
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