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Summary Berkeley is quite explicit about the religious motivations behind his philosophy: according to the subtitle of the Principles, Berkeley's aim is to discover and refute "the grounds of Scepticism, Atheism, and Irreligion." In furtherance of this aim, Berkeley offers several direct arguments for the existence of God, as well as analyses and defenses of a number of religious doctrines. 
Key works General treatments of Berkeley's thought which emphasize the importance of religion include Berman 1994 and Roberts 2007. Berkeley's religious motivations are also examined in a general way by Clark 1985Mabbott 1931 is a classic treatment of the importance of God to Berkeley's philosophical system. Mabbott's judgment of the centrality, and ineliminability, of God in Berkeley's philosophy is challenged by Atherton 1995.
Introductions Handbook treatments of Berkeley's philosophy of religion include Clark 2005 and Pearce forthcoming.
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Berkeley: Arguments for Theism
Berkeley: Continuity Argument for Theism
  1. M. R. Ayers (1987). Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence. In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  2. Jonathan Bennett (1965). Berkeley and God. Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
  3. George Botterill (2007). God and First Person in Berkeley. Philosophy 82 (1):87-114.
    Berkeley claims idealism provides a novel argument for the existence of God. But familiar interpretations of his argument fail to support the conclusion that there is a single omnipotent spirit. A satisfying reconstruction should explain the way Berkeley moves between first person singular and plural, as well as providing a powerful argument, once idealism is accepted. The new interpretation offered here represents the argument as an inference to the best explanation of a shared reality. Consequently, his use of the first (...)
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  4. Douglas M. Jesseph (2005). Berkeley, God, and Explanation. In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  5. Paul J. Olscamp (1970). George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God. Studi Internazionali di Filosofia 2:29-48.
Berkeley: Passivity Argument for Theism
  1. Margaret Atherton (1995). Berkeley Without God. In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  2. M. R. Ayers (1987). Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence. In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  3. Jonathan Bennett (1965). Berkeley and God. Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
  4. Douglas M. Jesseph (2005). Berkeley, God, and Explanation. In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  5. Ekaterina Y. Ksenjek & Daniel E. Flage (2012). Berkeley, the Author of Nature, and the Judeo-Christian God. History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (3):281-300.
    Does George Berkeley provide an argument for the existence of the Judeo-Christian God at Principles of Human Knowledge, part I, section 29? The standard answer is that he does. In this paper, we challenge that interpretation. First, we look at section 29 in the context of its preceding sections and argue that the most the argument establishes is that there are at least two minds, that is, that the thesis of solipsism is false. Next, we examine the argument in section (...)
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  6. Paul J. Olscamp (1970). George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God. Studi Internazionali di Filosofia 2:29-48.
Berkeley: Divine Language Argument for Theism
  1. Margaret Atherton (1995). Berkeley Without God. In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  2. Walter E. Creery (1972). Berkeley's Argument for a Divine Visual Language. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (4):212 - 222.
  3. James P. Danaher (2002). Is Berkeley's World a Divine Language? Modern Theology 18 (3):361-373.
    George Berkeley (1685–1753) believed that the visible world was a series of signs that constituted a divine language through which God was speaking to us. Given the nature of language and the nature of the visual world, this paper examines to what extent the visual world could be a divine language and to what extent God could speak to us through it.
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  4. Stephen H. Daniel (2001). Berkeley's Pantheistic Discourse. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (3):179-194.
    Berkeley's immaterialism has more in common with views developed by Henry More, the mathematician Joseph Raphson, John Toland, and Jonathan Edwards than those of thinkers with whom he is commonly associated (e.g., Malebranche and Locke). The key for recognizing their similarities lies in appreciating how they understand St. Paul's remark that in God "we live and move and have our being" as an invitation to think to God as the space of discourse in which minds and ideas are identified. This (...)
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  5. Michael Hooker (1982). Berkeley's Argument From Design. In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
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  6. Douglas M. Jesseph (2005). Berkeley, God, and Explanation. In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  7. E. G. King (1970). Language, Berkeley, and God. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):112 - 123.
  8. A. David Kline (1987). Berkeley's Divine Language Argument. In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  9. Paul J. Olscamp (1970). George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God. Studi Internazionali di Filosofia 2:29-48.
Berkeley: Divine Attributes
  1. Bertil Belfrage (2011). On George Berkeley's Alleged Letter to Browne: A Study in Unsound Rhetoric. Berkeley Studies 22.
  2. David Berman (1981). Cognitive Theology and Emotive Mysteries in Berkeley's Alciphron. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 81:219-229.
  3. Stephen H. Daniel (2011). Berkeley's Rejection of Divine Analogy. Science Et Esprit 63 (2):149-161.
    Berkeley argues that claims about divine predication (e.g., God is wise or exists) should be understood literally rather than analogically, because like all spirits (i.e., causes), God is intelligible only in terms of the extent of his effects. By focusing on the harmony and order of nature, Berkeley thus unites his view of God with his doctrines of mind, force, grace, and power, and avoids challenges to religious claims that are raised by appeals to analogy. The essay concludes by showing (...)
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  4. Stephen H. Daniel (2001). Berkeley's Pantheistic Discourse. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (3):179-194.
    Berkeley's immaterialism has more in common with views developed by Henry More, the mathematician Joseph Raphson, John Toland, and Jonathan Edwards than those of thinkers with whom he is commonly associated (e.g., Malebranche and Locke). The key for recognizing their similarities lies in appreciating how they understand St. Paul's remark that in God "we live and move and have our being" as an invitation to think to God as the space of discourse in which minds and ideas are identified. This (...)
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  5. Robert McKim (1987). What Is God Doing in the Quad? Philosophy Research Archives 13:637-653.
    I begin with an examination of Berkeley’s various suggestions about how to account for the continued existence of physical objects which are unperceived by finite spirits. After dismissing some of these suggestions I attempt to combine others in a unified theory which involves an appeal to what finite perceivers would perceive if they were in the right conditions, to the operation of the will of God, and to the perception of God. I assess the merits, both philosophical and textual, of (...)
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  6. Jean-Paul Pittion & David Berman (1969). A New Letter by Berkeley to Browne on Divine Analogy. Mind 78 (311):375-392.
  7. E. W. Van Steenburgh (1963). Berkeley Revisited. Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):85-89.
Berkeley: Philosophy of Religion, Misc
  1. A. C. Armstrong (1920). IX. The Development of Berkeley's Theism. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 32 (3-4):150-161.
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  2. Jeffrey Barnouw (2008). The Two Motives Behind Berkeley's Expressly Unmotivated Signs : Sure Perception and Personal Providence. In Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), New Interpretations of Berkeley's Thought. Humanity Books.
  3. Bertil Belfrage (2007). The Theological Positivism of George Berkeley (1707-1708). Acta Philosophica Fennica 83:37-52.
    Did George Berkeley, as I argued long ago in Belfrage (1986), defend a theory of "emotive meaning" in his Manuscript Introduction (an early version of the introduction to the Principles)? This question has raised a broad spectrum of different issues, which I think it is important to keep apart, such as rhetorical, psychological, semantic, ethical, metaphysical, and theological aspects. In the present paper, I hope to clear the ground of ambiguities, which have led to serious misunderstandings on this interesting point (...)
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  4. David Berman (2010). The Distrustful Philosopher: Berkeley Between the Devils and the Deep Blue Sea of Faith. In Silvia Parigi (ed.), George Berkeley: Religion and Science in the Age of Enlightenment. Springer.
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  5. David Berman (1981). Cognitive Theology and Emotive Mysteries in Berkeley's Alciphron. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 81:219-229.
  6. S. Seth Bordner (2012). George Berkeley: Religion and Science in the Age of Enlightenment. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 32 (4):313-315.
  7. Harry Bracken (1960). Berkeley on the Immortality of the Soul. Modern Schoolman 37 (3):197-212.
  8. Scott Breuninger (2010). Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the Anglo-Irish Context. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Berkeley's sermons on passive obedience in the Irish context -- Science and sociability: Berkeley's "bond of society" -- Piety, perception, and the free-thinkers -- Luxury, moderation, and the south sea bubble -- Planting religion in the New World, 1722 - 1732 -- Improving Ireland: luxury, virtue, and economic development -- Bishop of Cloyne: protestantism, patriotism, and a national panacea.
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  9. Richard Brook, Berkeley and the Causality of Ideas; a Look at PHK 25.
    I argue that Berkeley's distinctive idealism/immaterialism can't support his view that objects of sense, immediately or mediately perceived, are causally inert. (The Passivity of Ideas thesis or PI) Neither appeal to ordinary perception, nor traditional arguments, for example, that causal connections are necessary, and we can't perceive such connections, are helpful. More likely it is theological concerns,e.g., how to have second causes if God upholds by continuously creating the world, that's in the background. This puts Berkeley closer to Malebranche than (...)
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  10. P. A. Byrne (1984). Berkeley, Scientific Realism and Creation. Religious Studies 20 (3):453 - 464.
  11. Lynn D. Cates (1997). Berkeley on the Work of the Six Days. Faith and Philosophy 14 (1):82-86.
    In the Three Dialogues, Hylas challenges Philonous to give a plausible account of the mosaic account of creation in subjective idealistic terms. Strangely, when faced with two alternative strategies, Berkeley chooses the less viable option and explicates the mosaic account of creation in terms of perceptibility. I shall show that Berkeley’s account of creation trivializes the affair, if it does not fail outright.
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  12. Stephen R. L. Clark (2005). Berkeley on Religion. In Kenneth Winkler (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley. Cambridge University Press.
  13. Stephen R. L. Clark (1985). God-Appointed Berkeley and the General Good. In John Foster & Howard Robinson (eds.), Essays on Berkeley: A Tercentennial Celebration. Oxford University Press.
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  14. Steven D. Crain (1997). Must a Classical Theist Be an Immaterialist? Religious Studies 33 (1):81-92.
    In this paper I examine two arguments, one by R. A. Oakes and the other by P. A. Byrne, that Berkeley's immaterialism is the only metaphysic consistent with classical theism. I show that not only do Oakes and Byrne fail to demonstrate the incompatibility of physical realism with classical theism, but also that their line of argument reveals a grave inconsistency between the latter and immaterialism. For as they expound Berkeley's metaphysic, it seems incapable of explicating the metaphysical dependency of (...)
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  15. Stephen H. Daniel (2001). Berkeley's Christian Neoplatonism, Archetypes, and Divine Ideas. Journal of the History of Philosophy 39 (2):239-258.
    Berkeley's doctrine of archetypes explains how God perceives and can have the same ideas as finite minds. His appeal of Christian neo-Platonism opens up a way to understand how the relation of mind, ideas, and their union is modeled on the Cappadocian church fathers' account of the persons of the trinity. This way of understanding Berkeley indicates why he, in contrast to Descartes or Locke, thinks that mind (spiritual substance) and ideas (the object of mind) cannot exist or be thought (...)
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  16. François Duchesneau (1987). An Similes Apud Deum Et Percipientem Ideae Dici Possint (Commentaire de David Raynor, “Berkeley's Ontology”). Dialogue 26 (04):621-.
  17. James A. Elbert (1934). Berkeley's Conception of God From the Standpoint of Perception and Causation. New Scholasticism 8 (2):152-158.
  18. Nicholas Everitt (1997). Quasi-Berkeleyan Idealism as Perspicuous Theism. Faith and Philosophy 14 (3):353-377.
    In this paper, I argue that the kind of idealism defended by Berkeley is a natural and almost unavoidable expression of his theism. Two main arguments are deployed, both starting from a theistic premise and having an idealist conclusion. The first likens the dependence of the physical world on the will of God to the dependence of mental states on a mind. The second likens divine omniscience to the kind of knowledge which it has often been supposed we have of (...)
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  19. Patrick Fleming (2006). Berkeley's Immaterialist Account of Action. Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (3):415-429.
    : A number of critics have argued that Berkeley's metaphysics can offer no tenable account of human agency. In this paper I argue that Berkeley does have a coherent account of action. The paper addresses arguments by C.C. W. Taylor, Robert Imlay, and Jonathan Bennett. The paper attempts to show that Berkeley can offer a theory of action, maintain many of our common intuitions about action, and provide a defensible solution to the problem of evil.
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  20. Melissa Frankel (2012). Berkeley and God in the Quad. Philosophy Compass 7 (6):388-396.
  21. Philippe Gagnon (2003). Malebranche Et Berkeley: Les Créatures Et les Raisons Éternelles. Bulletin de la Société de Philosophie du Québec 29 (2):15-16.
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