The rival claims of religion, philosophy and science as dispensers of light have come to the fore in successive periods of history. Betwixt and between them all is the discipline known as theology, a rational study of the concept of God and attendant concepts connected with theistic belief. The dominant period of the connection between religion and philosophy in the west extends from Neo-Platonic thought to the seventeenth century. Before that for the most part philosophy tried to steer clear of ‘mysteries’, and after that philosophy made strenuous efforts to free itself from religion, and even more, from theology. Secular influences on religious language are legion. I mention only a few: governmental analogies (King, government, etc.), agricultural analogies (Shepherd, flock, sower and the seed), analogies from art (Design and Designer), historical approaches of the early Romantic movement (used by Renan and others), and influences from science (Paley's ‘watch’ metaphor, the idea of evolution as shown in the concept of ‘progressive revelation’, the ‘new theology’ of the twentieth century and so on). Recent interest in religious language is part of the last of these influences (influences from science) in so far as the desire to find some empirical moorings for various types of discourse is one of the early springs of the analytical movement. This interest is symptomatic of the trend to rethink ontological matters in terms of epistemology, a trend for which Galileo and Kepler bear a considerable responsibility. Earlier interest in religious language, it must be remembered, was deeply rooted in ontological concern. I refer to the skilled use by Catholic theologians of the method of analogia entis. The basis of this method, and it was a method of argument, was specific beliefs concerning the distinction between finite and infinite being and the relation between them.