9780881336634

They Shall Take Up Serpents: Psychology of the Southern Snake-Handling Cult

LA Barre, Weston

ISBN 10: 0881336637 / 0-88133-663-7
ISBN 13: 9780881336634
Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc
Publication Date: 1992
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
The rural Southern snake-handling cult, still flourishing, is graphically described in its complex historical, ethnographic, and psychosexual background. The specific poor-white, extreme fundamentalist setting of the cult is placed in its New Testament context and in relation to the folklore of similar practices in Africa, Mexico, and the ancient world. Accepting the Freudian theme that "the snake is man's own sexuality," the author points to the prevalent repressiveness of the cultists' lives, which finds outlet in the handling of the age-old symbol of sin and eternal life. Founded in 1909, the cult has spread from Grasshopper Valley, Tennessee, all over the South, and has survived fines, jail sentences, and numerous deaths from snake bite, including that of the founder.

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