This collection of essays offers a series of rigorously focused art-historical, historical, and philosophical studies that examine ways in which materiality has posed and still poses a religious and cultural problem. The volume examines the material agency of objects, artifacts, and environments: art, ritual, pilgrimage, food, and philosophy. It studies the variable "senses” of materiality, the place of materiality in the formation of modern Western religion, and its role in Christianity’s dialogue with non-Western religions. The essays present new interpretations of religious rites and outlooks through the focus on their material components. They also suggest how material engagement theory - a new movement in cultural anthropology and archeology - may shed light on the cultural history of Christianity in medieval and early modern Europe and the Americas. It thus fills an important lacuna in the study of western religion by highlighting the longue durée, from the Middles Ages to the Modern Period, of a current dilemma, namely the divide between materialistic and what might broadly be called hermeneutical or cultural-critical approaches to religion and human subjectivity.