It is said that words are like people: One can encounter them daily yet never come to know their true selves. This volume examines what words are-how they exist-in religious phenomena. Going beyond the common idea that language merely describes states of mind, beliefs, and intentions, the book looks at words in their performative and material specificity. The contributions in the volume develop the insight that our implicit assumptions about what language does guide the way we understand and experience religious phenomena. They also explore the possibility that insights about the particular status of religious utterances may in turn influence the way we think about words in our language.