Evangelical Philosophical SocietyArticle Reprint

Religious Liberty and Snake Handling Churches

by Gregory L. Bock

Handling poisonous snakes in religious services is illegal in some states, but should it be?

In this paper, I will examine the meaning of religious liberty by exploring Martha Nussbaum’s work on religious tolerance and applying the theories of John Locke and Roger Williams to the issue of snake-handling churches.

Using the recent National Geographic television series, "Snake Salvation" (2013), as a point of departure, I will argue on the basis of the ideas espoused by Locke and Williams that snake-handling churches should be allowed to use venomous snakes under certain conditions.

The full-text of this paper is available for FREE by clicking here.

©2018 Evangelical Philosophical Society. All rights Reserved.  

This article is made public for personal, non-commercial use only.  You must obtain prior written permission for any other use.  The Evangelical Philosophical Society  (EPS) is an organization of professional scholars devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence in both the church and the academy. Interested laypersons can join as full, associate, or student members.  The EPS journal, Philosophia Christi, is a scholarly publication containing discussion of a variety of topics that are of interest to the philosopher and to the philosopher of religion.

For membership information, please visit www.epsociety.org or you may contact us by phone or e-mail.