Religion is a topic that everyone thinks they know something about. (Beware of mentioning your field of study on airplanes.) This may be a product both of the view that “religion” has to do with “personal experience” and the difficulty that many people have with thinking about “the social.” Rather than considering religion in terms of the social relations that produced both religious practices and religion as a category of study, there is an assumption that religion is the most ancient of all human endeavors, that “from time immemorial man [sic] has been religious.”
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