Academic disciplines, including departments of history, emerged slowly and unevenly in the second half of the nineteenth century. Professional societies, including the American Historical Association (AHA) at its founding in 1884, were generally tiny organizations, a few would-be specialists collecting together to stake a claim on a distinct scholarly identity. Fields of study were necessarily fluid—interdisciplinary because they remained, to a large degree, predisciplinary. As fields went, the study of religion appeared especially amorphous; it was spread out across philology, history, classics, folklore, anthropology, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and oriental studies. Adding to the complexity more than simplifying it was the persisting claim that the study of religion belonged specifically (if not exclusively) to theology and hence to seminaries and divinity schools. Elizabeth A. Clark's Founding the Fathers illuminates the importance of Protestant theological institutions in shaping the study of religion in nineteenth-century America, suggesting, in particular, how well-trained church historians pointed the way toward disciplinary consolidation and specialization. Marjorie Wheeler-Barclay's Science of Religion, by contrast, explores the leading British intellectuals responsible for extending the study of religion across a broad swath of the new human sciences. Together these two books offer an excellent opportunity to reflect on what religion looked like as a learned object of inquiry before religious studies fully crystallized as an academic discipline in the middle third of the twentieth century. Clark opens the introduction to her book with an epigraph from Hayden White: “The question is, What is involved in the transformation of a field of studies into a discipline?” (1). What indeed?