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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"It is an unusual combination of factual reporting and learned scholarship and is very well written." -- Liston Pope, American Journal of Sociology
"The reader will lay down this book with a respect for its author and with a more tolerant understanding of the religious cult which practices snake handling." -- Edwin S. Preston, North Carolina Historical Review
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Book Description Waveland Pr Inc, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110881336637
Book Description Waveland Pr Inc, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0881336637