The problem addressed in this article is twofold: firstly, how can a question be posed (on the naturalness of religion) consisting of two concepts (naturalness and religion) that are both somewhat vague and secondly, what are the implications of the preceding semantic mappings (or labelling) that determine the sense-making process (i.e. the conceptual problems that follows in the wake of the labelling). The aim of the article is to reflect from a historical perspective on the two concepts that make up the question, namely natural and religion and finally to indicate what is meant by semantic mappings that determine conceptual problems. From this indication it is argued that 'scientific foul play' is the order of the day, that is, that both theology and science are as it were playing 'off-side', thus making the question in the contemporary discourses an emotionally messy endeavour and that, in the author's opinion, the question has therefore to be rephrased.
This article is based on a paper delivered at the XIII European Conference on Science and Theology, 7–11 April 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland.