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Jailbreak the Sacred

Apr 30, 2019

This week features a wonderful conversation with my friend and clergy colleague, the Rev. Kimberly Gibson-Pierce, about the spiritual uniqueness of Appalachia and the revolutionary undercurrent behind such stereotyped phenomena as snake-handling and poison-drinking in certain pockets of Pentecostalism. Rev. Kim is a commissioned minister in the Disciples of Christ denomination and a scholar of Appalachian history. This discussion broke apart quite a few of my misunderstandings about the region and invites all of us into an experience of Appalachia that is deeply rooted in communal engagement with nature, family, and the spirit of the place.

Bonus episode content: Kim and I do a deep dive into the myth and magic of Appalachian folklore, and our friends the Mothman and the Hopkinsville Goblin make appearances! Available for Patreon patrons on the $10 tier.

Books referenced in the episode:

Harry Caudill, Night Comes to the Cumberlands

Ronald D Eller, Miners, Millhands, and Mountaineers: Industrialization of the Appalachian South, 1880-1930

Helen Matthews Lewis, Linda Johnson, Donald Askin, eds., Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case

Scott Schwartz, Faith, Serpents, and Fire

Elliott Wigginton, ed., Foxfire