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Two outstanding overviews of religion in Appalachia remain in print: Faith and Meaning in the Southern Uplands (1999) by Loyal Jones and Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History (1995)  by Deborah Vansau McCauley.  Christianity in Appalachia (1999) by Bill J. Leonard is a more conventional history with less analysis. Arguably the most outstanding scholar of regional religion was Howard Dorgan (1932-2012) who taught at Appalachian State and authored a half a dozen excellent books on regional religion. The regional religion topic that has stimulated the greatest book-length interest is serpent handling, a practice that originated and continues only in our region. Significantly all the books I know deal with it in a respectful way. Two of the books were written by men who participated in the practice: Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington and Taking Up Serpents  (2002)  by David L. Kimbrough.  Histories of individual churches abound, mostly written by chauvinistic parishoners. Powerhouse for God (1988 & 2018) by Jeff Todd Titon is different. He is a professor at Brown University who has provided an impressive scholarly perspective on a Shenandoah Valley church. There also are studies of church conferences and denominations in particular states as well as biographies and autobiographies of individual preachers.  One of the most popular contemporary Christian essay writers is Barbara Brown Taylor, who lives in North Georgia. 

-- George Brosi