Joseph Butler Bibliography

Fifteen Sermons 1726
A defence of ethics based on reason rather than revelation drawing on arguments concerning the nature of man and of the world rather than the divine imperative. Although the Sermons were written before The Analogy of Religion (1736), they did not become a classic in ethical theory until a century or so after the author’s death.
Fifteen Sermons Preached at Rolls Chapel 1729
In the Sermons Butler proposed that true morality consisted in living in accordance with the principles of self-love, benevolence and conscience.
The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature. To which are added, Two brief Dissertations: I. Of Personal Identity. II. Of the Nature of Virtue 1736
The Analogy did much to influence the history of Christian apologetics during the 19th century. It defends the doctrine of immortality and the need for revelation against deistic rationalism; Butler argues that a sound use of reason does not contradict but at the least supports faith in divine revelation and in human immortality. In other words, Butler attempted to establish the complementarity of natural and revealed religion. He proposed that “probability is the very guide of life”. Butler’s writings were much admired by the leaders of the Oxford movement.
Charge 1750
Butler’s Charge to the clergy of Durham was a strong statement of the need for externals in religious worship.