This series of monographs and books is designed as a contribution to the scholarly and academic understanding of religion. Such understanding is taken to involve both a descriptive and an explanatory task. The first task is conceived as one of surface description involving the gathering of information about religions, and depth description that provides, on the basis of the data gathered, a more finely nuanced description of a tradition's self-understanding. The second task concerns the search for explanation and the development of theory to account for religion and for particular historical traditions. The series will, furthermore, cover the phenomenon of religion in all its constituent dimensions and geographic diversity. Both established and younger scholars in the field will be included and will represent a wide range of viewpoints and positions, producing original work of high order at the monograph and major study level. Although predominantly empirically oriented, the series will also encourage theoretical studies and even leave room for creative and empirically controlled philosophical and speculative approaches in the interpretation of religions and religion. Toronto Studies in Religion will be of particular interest to those who study the subject at universities and colleges but will also be of value to the general educated reader.