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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
  1. Kryzys teologii naturalnej: George Berkeley.Anna Hochfeldowa - 1971 - Archiwum Historii Filozofii I Myśli Społecznej 17.
Berkeley: Continuity Argument for Theism
  1. Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence.M. R. Ayers - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  2. Berkeley and God.Jonathan Bennett - 1965 - Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
    It is well known that Berkeley had two arguments for the existence of God. A while ago, in trying to discover what these arguments are and how they fit into Berkeley's scheme of things, I encountered certain problems which are hardly raised, let alone solved, in the standard commentaries. I think that I have now solved these problems, and in this paper I present my results.
  3. God and First Person in Berkeley.George Botterill - 2007 - 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 (...)
  4. George Berkeley’s Proof for the Existence of God.Hugh Hunter - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):183-193.
    Most philosophers have given up George Berkeley’s proof for the existence of God as a lost cause, for in it, Berkeley seems to conclude more than he actually shows. I defend the proof by showing that its conclusion is not the thesis that an infinite and perfect God exists, but rather the much weaker thesis that a very powerful God exists and that this God’s agency is pervasive in nature. This interpretation, I argue, is consistent with the texts. It is (...)
  5. Berkeley, God, and Explanation.Douglas M. Jesseph - 2005 - 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.
  6. George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God.Paul J. Olscamp - 1970 - Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.
Berkeley: Passivity Argument for Theism
  1. Berkeley Without God.Margaret Atherton - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  2. Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence.M. R. Ayers - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  3. Berkeley and God.Jonathan Bennett - 1965 - Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
    It is well known that Berkeley had two arguments for the existence of God. A while ago, in trying to discover what these arguments are and how they fit into Berkeley's scheme of things, I encountered certain problems which are hardly raised, let alone solved, in the standard commentaries. I think that I have now solved these problems, and in this paper I present my results.
  4. George Berkeley’s Proof for the Existence of God.Hugh Hunter - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):183-193.
    Most philosophers have given up George Berkeley’s proof for the existence of God as a lost cause, for in it, Berkeley seems to conclude more than he actually shows. I defend the proof by showing that its conclusion is not the thesis that an infinite and perfect God exists, but rather the much weaker thesis that a very powerful God exists and that this God’s agency is pervasive in nature. This interpretation, I argue, is consistent with the texts. It is (...)
  5. Berkeley, God, and Explanation.Douglas M. Jesseph - 2005 - 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.
  6. Berkeley, the Author of Nature, and the Judeo-Christian God.Ekaterina Y. Ksenjek & Daniel E. Flage - 2012 - 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 (...)
  7. George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God.Paul J. Olscamp - 1970 - Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.
Berkeley: Divine Language Argument for Theism
  1. Berkeley Without God.Margaret Atherton - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  2. The Divine Visual Language Argument in George Berkeley's "Alciphron.".Donald Edward Baldwin - 1978 - Dissertation, University of Missouri - Columbia
  3. Ragioni scientifiche e ragioni teologiche nell'Argument from Design: il caso di Berkeley.Daniele Bertini - 2011 - Lo Sguardo 6 (2).
    My paper moves from Kant's taxonomy for the arguments for the existence of God. After providing a brief survey of Kant's account, I claim that contemporary arguments from design fit Kant's characterization of the physico-theological argument. Then, in the second section, I deal with the logical frame of the argument from design. In the third section I introduce Berkeley's divine language argument (DLA), in order to demonstrate that DLA is an argument from design. Consequently, in the fourth section, I give (...)
  4. Berkeley's Argument for a Divine Visual Language.Walter E. Creery - 1972 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (4):212 - 222.
  5. Is Berkeley's World a Divine Language?James P. Danaher - 2002 - 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.
  6. Berkeley's Pantheistic Discourse.Stephen H. Daniel - 2001 - 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 (...)
  7. Berkeley's Argument From Design.Michael Hooker - 1982 - In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
  8. Berkeley, God, and Explanation.Douglas M. Jesseph - 2005 - 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.
  9. Language, Berkeley, and God.E. G. King - 1970 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):112 - 123.
  10. Berkeley's Divine Language Argument.A. David Kline - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  11. Berkeley's Alchiphron or the Language of God.Teja Oblak - 2003 - Phainomena 43.
    The author of the article presents Berkeley's theory of emotive language as seen in his book Alchiphron or the Minute Philosophy. Through the presentation of Berkeley's book the author tries to present her own interpretation of the emotive language theory and thus descend from the strict metaphysical framework to the grounds of linguistics and religion. By connecting the fields that seem extremely separate from each other, the author endeavours for a sort of re-actualization of the Berkeleyan theory of language. Her (...)
  12. George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God.Paul J. Olscamp - 1970 - Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.
Berkeley: Divine Attributes
  1. The Development of Berkeley's Theism.A. C. Armstrong - 1920 - Philosophical Review 29:404.
  2. On George Berkeley's Alleged Letter to Browne: A Study in Unsound Rhetoric.Bertil Belfrage - 2011 - Berkeley Studies 22:3-8.
    Luce once declared that his and Jessop’s interpretation of Berkeley is “reflected in our edition of the Works.” The appearance of a recent article by Stephen Daniel draws attention to two examples of the implications of this interpretive model of editing. One is Luce’s and Jessop’s rejection of Alciphron as a reliable source for Berkeley’s philosophy, because we have access to his true philosophy elsewhere , and “it is idle to turn to Alciphron for Berkeleianism,” for he does not rest (...)
  3. Cognitive Theology and Emotive Mysteries in Berkeley's Alciphron.David Berman - 1981 - Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 81:219-229.
  4. Divine Analogy in Eighteenth-Century Irish Philosophy.Thomas Curtin - 2014 - Journal of Theological Studies 65 (2):600-24.
    In eighteenth century Ireland, attempts to explain divine predication led to the belief that analogy provides a viable way through which we can know things about God. This belief, in turn, resulted in a controversy over divine analogy which involved numerous philosophers and theologians of the period. This paper will examine how three figures in the debate understand analogy and how that understanding influences their positions on divine analogy: William King, Peter Browne, and George Berkeley. At the height of this (...)
  5. Berkeley's Rejection of Divine Analogy.Stephen H. Daniel - 2011 - 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 (...)
  6. Berkeley's Pantheistic Discourse.Stephen H. Daniel - 2001 - 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 (...)
  7. Le dieu de Berkeley.M. Guéroult - 1953 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 58 (1/2):1 - 28.
  8. Sensationalism and Theology in Berkeley's Philosophy.Hedenius Ingemar - 1937 - Philosophy 12 (47):358-359.
  9. Faith, Truth, Revelation and Meaning in Berkeley’s Defense of the Christian Religion.Roomet Jakapi - 2002 - Modern Schoolman 80 (1):23-34.
  10. What Is God Doing in the Quad?Robert McKim - 1987 - 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 (...)
  11. Some Unresolved Issues In Berkeley’s Natural Theology.John A. Mourant - 1966 - Philosophical Studies 15:58-75.
  12. Browne and King, Collins and Berkeley: Agnosticism or Anthropomorphism?James O'Higgins - 1976 - Journal of Theological Studies 27 (1):88-112.
  13. Matter, God, and Nonsense: Berkeley's Polemic Against the Freethinkers in the Three Dialogues.Kenneth L. Pearce - forthcoming - In Stefan Storrie (ed.), Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    In the Preface to the Three Dialogues<, Berkeley says that one of his main aims is to refute the free-thinkers. Puzzlingly, however, we are then treated to a dialogue between two Christians in which the free-thinkers never reappear. This is related to a second, more general puzzle about Berkeley's religious polemics: although Berkeley says he is defending orthodox conclusions, he also reminds himself in his notebooks "To use the utmost Caution not to give the least Handle of offence to the (...)
  14. A New Letter by Berkeley to Browne on Divine Analogy.Jean-Paul Pittion & David Berman - 1969 - Mind 78 (311):375-392.
  15. Berkeley Revisited.E. W. Van Steenburgh - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):85-89.
  16. WISDOM, J. O. - The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy. [REVIEW]G. J. Warnock - 1955 - Mind 64:423.
Berkeley: Philosophy of Religion, Misc
  1. In the Upper Room.Timo Airaksinen - 2015 - Philosophy and Theology 27 (2):427-456.
    This paper describes Berkeley’s ethics and analyses its metaphysical presuppositions. His ethical though is based on the theological idea of virtue that means obedience to God’s will and, hence, all ethically relevant concepts contain a reference to God. Berkeley also says that happiness in this vale of tears is God’s gift to us and a reward of virtue in heaven. Happiness is a sign and criterion of virtuous conduct. Obviously this kind of supernatural ethics can work only if its metaphysical (...)
  2. Active Principles and Trinities in Berkeley's "Siris".Timo Airaksinen - 2010 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 135 (1):57 - 70.
    Berkeley's Siris is a chain of arguments which ends in God. First God is a metaphysical principle causally regulating the world or Macrocosm. But in the final paragraphs of Siris, God is treated in a theological perspective. This is to say that Berkeley introduces the idea of the Trinity and relates it to the rest of his chain argument. He says that Father, Son, and Spirit correspond to the philosophical notions of sun, light, and heat. I study the final theological (...)
  3. IX. The Development of Berkeley's Theism.A. C. Armstrong - 1920 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 32 (3-4):150-161.
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