Original Research

How ‘religious’ is religion and how ‘natural’ is naturalness? On the question of the naturalness of religion

Dani P. Veldsman
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 31, No 1 | a403 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v31i1.403 | © 2010 Dani P. Veldsman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2010 | Published: 22 November 2010

About the author(s)

Dani P. Veldsman, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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.


evolutionary epistomology; nature; naturalism; naturalness of religion; religion; supernatural


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