This article makes a plea for putting religions and beliefs back into our studies of the eighteenth century, which has too frequently been viewed as a period of secularisation. It highlights the varieties of religion on offer in the century and argues that historians of religion have created a ghetto for religious history by focusing too much on the clergy and the Church as an institution, and that instead much more research needs to be done on lay religion. The article also contests that religion should not be aligned solely with the forces of tradition but was itself an agent of change. © 2009 British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.