Reading the iconic Zed Smith recently, I came across this thought-provoking quote on the study of religion:
Each scholar of religion . . . is concerned with phenomena that are historical in the simple, grammatical senses of the term, . . . with events and expressions from the past, reconcieved vividly. The scholar of religion is, therefore, concerned with dimensions of memory and remembrance —whether they be the collective labor of society or the work of the individual historian’s craft.
(Jonathan Z. Smith, “In Comparison a Magic Dwells”)