Jeremy Benthara lias had a conspicuous influence upon
English thought and action. His contributions to jurisprudence, political organisation and administration have
been widely recognised and the limitations and defects of
his doctrines have also been made abundantly evident.
His religious attitudes and opinions, however, have received little consideration. It is in the hope of contributing to our total knowledge of this influential reformer and thinker that this thesis has been prepared.
Benthos's voluminous, unpublished manuscripts are
the primary source of his religious attitudes and
opinions. Bentham and his followers were, for many
years, afraid that the publication of these pages would
bring upon them general disfavour and perhaps legal prosecution. After Bentham's death John Bowring edited
many of his papers and published them in an eleven volume
work. He did not, however, include his religious
writings. This may have been due to the fear of bringing the group into public disfavour or to the knowledge
that a new type of criticism was challenging the Christian evidence upon a deeper basis. In any event, these
unpublished manuscripts are the primary source of the
religious attitudes of Jeremy Bentham.