Today, research in the human sciences must investigate both (a) what are the theoretical considerations appropriate to good writing and reading of texts, and (b) how well do any of the contemporary «grand theorists» handle the problems posed by particular texts. The essays in this volume, written by experts in law, literature, philosophy, and religion, explore these issues through analyses of texts of major import in their respective disciplines. Taken together, the essays make no pretense to have settled any theoretical matters. But they do show both that theory is of major importance for proper reading of texts and that the plethora of kinds of texts make theorizing a difficult, risky, even if exhilarating, enterprise. They also show the importance of further studies like them.