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Religion and Spirituality in Florida

This guide from the State Library of Florida explores Florida’s religious and spiritual history from colonial times to the present. 

Materials are generally available through interlibrary loan from the circulating collection of the State Library. 

Links within the bibliographies take you to information in our State Library catalog or to more information on external sites.

Postcard of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tarpon Springs, Florida

Books 

Bettinger-López, Caroline. Cuban-Jewish Journeys: Searching for Identity, Home, and History in Miami. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2000. 

Crowley, John G. Primitive Baptists of the Wiregrass South: 1815 to the Present. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1998. Cover photo of Heart and Soul of Florida: Sacred Sites and Historic Architecture by Elsbeth Gordon

Gordon, Elsbeth K. Heart and Soul of Florida: Sacred Sites and Historic Architecture. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2013. 

Guthrie, John J., Phillip Charles Lucas, and Gary Monroe, eds. Cassadaga: The South’s Oldest Spiritualist Community. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2000. 

Hann, John H., ed. Missions to the Calusa. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1991. 

Hann, John H., and Bonnie G. McEwan. The Apalachee Indians and Mission San Luis. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1998. 

Haught, Brandon. Going Ape: Florida’s Battles Over Evolution in the Classroom. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2014. 

Kapitzke, Robert L. Religion, Power, and Politics in Colonial St. Augustine. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2001. 

Millner, Lyn. The Allure of Immortality: An American Cult, a Florida Swamp, and a Renegade Prophet. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2015. 

Pinsky, Mark I. The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004. 

Cover photo of Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami by Terry Rev

Rey, Terry. Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami. New York, NY: NYU Press, 2013. 

Rivers, Larry E., and Canter Brown. Laborers in the Vineyard of the Lord: The Beginnings of the AME Church in Florida, 1865-1895. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2001. 

Stepick, Alex, Terry Rey, and Sarah J. Mahler. Churches and Charity in the Immigrant City: Religion, Immigration, and Civic Engagement in Miami. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2009. 

Tweed, Thomas A. Our Lady of the Exile: Diasporic Religion at a Cuban Catholic Shrine in Miami. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002.

 Winsberg, Morton D. Atlas of Race, Ancestry, and Religion in 21st-Century Florida. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2006. 

Woods, James M. A History of the Catholic Church in the American South: 1513-1900. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2011. 

Articles and Book Chapters 

Flynt, Wayne. “Religion at the Polls: A Case Study of Twentieth-Century Politics and Religion in Florida.” Florida Historical Quarterly 72.4 (1994): 469–483. 

Gannon, Michael V. “Altar and Hearth: The Coming of Christianity 1521-1565.” Florida Historical Quarterly 44.1/2 (1965): 17–44. 

Photo of horseshoe church of Bradfordville, Florida

Hall, Robert L. “Tallahassee’s Black Churches, 1865-1885.” Florida Historical Quarterly 58.2 (1979): 185–196. 

Hall, Robert L. “‘Yonder Come Day’: Religious Dimensions of the Transition From Slavery to Freedom in Florida.” Florida Historical Quarterly 65.4 (1987): 411–432. 

Pleasants, Julian M., and Harry A. Kersey. “Transformations in Religion and Medicine.” Seminole Voices: Reflections on Their Changing Society, 1970-2000. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2010. 101–140. 

Rey, Terry. “The Spirit(s) of African Religion in Miami.” Africa in Florida: Five Hundred Years of African Presence in the Sunshine State. Ed. Amanda Carlson, Robin Poynor, and Michael Gannon. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2013. 301–314. 

Taylor, Bron. “Religion and Surfing’s Spiritual Core.” Surfing Florida: A Photographic History. Ed. Paul Aho and W. Rod Faulds. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2014. 186–192. 

Digital Collections 

State Archives of Florida. "Jewish Folk Songs." Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

Photo of hollow earth globe in art hall at the Koreshan State History Site park

State Archives of Florida. “Koreshan Unity Collection.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. "Petition to Establish the East Florida Seminary in Alachua County, 1852." Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Library of Florida. “Jewish Heritage.” Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Library of Florida. "WPA Church Records." Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State University Libraries of Florida. “Koreshan Historic Collection.” Publication of Archival, Library & Museum Materials.

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.