Chapter 2 discusses the rise and fall of the National-Statist regime, including a global history of state and nation formation, and the characteristics of religion within this mould. It also discusses the epistemological consequences of this situation for the study of religion over the better portion of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This is when the secularisation paradigm crystallised in the form it did, acting to naturalise the National-Statist characteristics of religion as a well-differentiated, institutionalised, privatised, scripturalised, etc., social sphere. This chapter shows how taking some distance with respect to the assumptions of the secularisation paradigm, namely social differentiation, allows for a fresh outlook on a period that has seen the birth of the social scientific study of religion as a discipline.