Can a god be present where none is ever unambiguously named? Shakespeare’s theatrical works go out of their way, it seems, to avoid fealty to any sort of god an audience might be expected to take seriously. While many readers have taken this avoidance as an opting for aesthetics over theology, this introductory chapter argues that the opposite is in fact the case: the hiddenness of “God” serves to heighten rather than expel theological tension. Using some of the most suggestive work in contemporary theology, this chapter develops the interpretive categories of pressurized providence, non-competitive transcendence, repetition, and excess, as keys to reading the absence of God as an “unstaged” presence. I then put this theological interpretation to the test using Shakespeare’s first publication, the narrative poem Venus and Adonis, taking into account its theological reception history.