Faith, Serpents and Fire: Images of Kentucky Holiness Believers

Faith, Serpents and Fire: Images of Kentucky Holiness Believers

by Scott W. Schwartz
     
 

The serpent handlers of eastern rural Kentucky are Christians who interpret the Bible literally. In this they are quite similar to many other evangelical Christians in the South and elsewhere. Their daily lives are no different, no more or less mundane, than those of their neighbors or of the inhabitants of any small town in America. And yet they choose to handle… See more details below

Overview

The serpent handlers of eastern rural Kentucky are Christians who interpret the Bible literally. In this they are quite similar to many other evangelical Christians in the South and elsewhere. Their daily lives are no different, no more or less mundane, than those of their neighbors or of the inhabitants of any small town in America. And yet they choose to handle deadly serpents, expose themselves to the flames of kerosene lamps, and drink poison as part of their church services. The rationale for these actions is their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and their belief in "signs." Scott Schwartz documents in pictures and interviews the culture, music, and activities encountered during serpent-handling services at three small churches in rural eastern Kentucky. He provides a firsthand account of a service in its entirety and brings the reader intimately close to the believers he is chronicling. This book produces the unforgettable experience of witnessing spiritual anointing, acts of faith with fire and serpents, and revelations of what happens physically and emotionally when the Holy Spirit descends upon the congregation. Without casting any judgment and without intruding into sacred space, Schwartz reveals the convictions that motivate these believers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578060924
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
02/15/1999
Pages:
86
Product dimensions:
8.81(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.49(d)

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