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Religion

Christianity and religion were points of connection for North America and the Caribbean for centuries. From Jesuits to evangelical missionaries, from moral concerns to religious biography, this grouping samples some of the diverse ways in which North American and Caribbean authors engaged in this subject whose importance was strongly felt in both regions.

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This volume was prepared for the centenary of the titular church, celebrated in August 1910. It serves, therefore, as a history not just of that specific parish over the course of one hundred years of Bahamian history, but also of the history of Nassau and of Presbyterianism over that same time period. It includes photographic illustrations of the church and its best-known leaders and provides an interesting example of microhistory and its relation to the larger histories that swirl around it.

This biography of Bartholomew de las Casas emphasizes his role in arguing for the rights of native islanders, while also serving as a history of early Christianity in the Caribbean. Written in French but translated to English by a Dominican monk, the work emphasizes the cruelty of most settlers, especially the English, in contrast to the humanity and wisdom of the early Dominican Fathers. 

(In Spanish) A pocket-sized Spanish edition of important prayers in Catholicism, from the Declaration of Faith to the Ave Maria, to the commandments of several saints, this little book is notable for its publication and printing in Havana in 1838. It is symbolic of the diffusion of Catholicism into the fabric of Cuban and Caribbean culture more broadly. 

Connecting the Caribbean not just to North America, but specifically to the American Antiquarian Society, this sermon was printed in Worcester, Massachusetts, home of AAS. Reflecting on the sad event of two deaths in Havana, Cuba, the speaker offers comfort and consolation through scripture. In many ways, it is a familiar funeral sermon, which perhaps makes it even more interesting given the connection it highlights between the very home of AAS and the Caribbean world. 

Written on the island of Nevis and printed in London, this work aimed to improve the treatment of enslaved people in the Caribbean by combating a rooted opinion against their talents for receiving instruction. Chief among this argument is the contention that enslaved people can be taught to improve their religious character, and in so doing demonstrate themselves worthy of being governed as man ought to be governed, establishing the importance of religion in determining the conduct and treatment of enslaved people.

Demonstrating the way religion and religious language were deployed to signal and guide political attitudes related to the Caribbean, this Boston sermon celebrates the successful siege and subsequent British takeover of Havana, Cuba, using the language of scripture. It reveals the connections that Christianity engendered between early North America and the Caribbean.