The Czech academic study of religions has a rich, eventful and sometimes paradoxical history. To be sure, it is a history that is difficult for some readers to imagine since they reside in a complex but nevertheless transparent context, one both scientifically and academically structured. In this essay I will chart the development of the Czech study of religions, and evaluate its basic elements and central issues. In order to avoid the confusion of too many names, texts and schools, I will concentrate on the major trends in research and the methodological basis in each phase of its development. In writing this historical survey I stress the present situation and the preconditions for the further development of the study of religions; the past, whatever it may be, belongs to the past and it must not be regarded as an excuse for the current situation.