Theories of agency are central to any form of explanation or interpretation of human action in the social and behavioral sciences, including the study of history. In studies of religion, they appear to require even more reflection than usual, because of secular skepticism of religious understandings of agency, involving divine intervention or supra-human powers. The major problem with theories of agency is their immense range and complexity. They involve fundamental notions of emotions and intentions, of habits and social practice, of desire and passion, of passions and interests, of resistance and power, of freedom and un-freedom, of the distinction between subject and object, of interiority and exteriority. As such, they have complicated genealogies in different religious and philosophical traditions. Western philosophical traditions are among the many traditions that have wide-ranging theories about the self and agency and express them in a universalistic language.1 These universalistic claims are perhaps common, but the history of European expansion has implied a universalization of Western thought, so that despite its provincial origin Western thought informs both the understanding and the self-understanding of other societies. From the start, one of the tasks of anthropology and history has therefore been to critique universalistic assumptions about, for instance, agency, by examining other ways of life and traditions. Not only is universalism as such being questioned; the universalization of ideas is being critically analyzed.