“A pleasure to read, well written and full of fascinating examples. It is unique in combining a sensitive and sympathetic understanding of the religious meanings of dreams with a state-of-the-art treatment of the insights that cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology bring to our understanding of them.”
—Wendy Doniger, author of Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities
“Offers a sophisticated, yet easily accessible and engaging discussion of how and in what way dreams and a broad range of the world’s religions have enjoyed mutual influence throughout history.”
—Nina P. Azari, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia of Religions and Sciences
From Biblical stories of Joseph interpreting Pharoh’s dreams in Egypt to prayers against bad dreams in the Hindu Rg Veda, cultures all over the world have seen their dreams first and foremost as religiously meaningful experiences. In this widely shared view, dreams are a powerful medium of transpersonal guidance offering the opportunity to communicate with sacred beings, gain valuable wisdom and power, heal suffering, and explore new realms of existence. Conversely, the world’s religious and spiritual traditions provide the best source of historical information about the broad patterns of human dream life
Dreaming in the World’s Religions provides an authoritative and engaging one-volume resource for the study of dreaming and religion. It tells the story of how dreaming has shaped the religious history of humankind, from the Upanishads of Hinduism to the Qur’an of Islam, from the conception dream of Buddha’s mother to the sexually tempting nightmares of St. Augustine, from the Ojibwa vision quest to Australian Aboriginal journeys in the Dreamtime. Bringing his background in psychology to bear, Kelly Bulkeley incorporates an accessible consideration of cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology into this fascinating overview.
Dreaming in the World’s Religions offers a carefully researched, accessibly written portrait of dreaming as a powerful, unpredictable, often iconoclastic force in human religious life.