Columbus, Ohio, USA

BOOK: Test of Faith

Pentecostal serpent handlers, also known as Signs Followers, hold a literal interpretation of a verse in the King James Bible’s Gospel of Mark, which states that, among other abilities, true believers shall be able to “take up serpents.” For more than a century, members of this uniquely Appalachian religious tradition have handled venomous snakes during their worship services, risking death as evidence of their unwavering faith.

Who are the serpent handlers? What motivates them to continue their potentially lethal practices through the generations? Test of Faith provides a deeply nuanced, personal look at serpent handling that not only invites greater understanding of a religious practice that has long faced derision and criticism; it also serves as a meditation on the photographic process, its ethics, and its capacity to generate empathy.

Test of Faith was published with the generous support of the 2016 Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography.

Feb. 21, 2017: Interview in American Photo Magazine
July 18, 2017: Preview in Pacific Standard Magazine
Nov. 16, 2017: Radio Interview on WUNC’s “The State of Things”
Nov. 22, 2017: Excerpt in the Oxford American
Nov. 27, 2017: Photo of the Day in PDN
Dec. 8, 2017: Feature in the Charleston Gazette-Mail
Dec. 22, 2017: Feature in the Columbus Dispatch
Jan. 3, 2018: Review in The Christian Century
Jan. 9, 2018: Interview in Duke Divinity School’s Faith & Leadership
Jan. 23, 2018: Feature in Ohio State News
Jan. 26, 2018: Feature in The Guardian
Feb. 12, 2018: Interview in NYU’s The Revealer
March 8, 2018: Review in Reading Religion
April 5, 2018: Feature in Ohio State Insights
April 2018: Review in Fraction Magazine

Duke University Press/CDS Books

Hardcover, 144 pages

Published in November 2017

$50.00 for signed copy

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