Visions of the Night

Dreams, Religion, and Psychology

By Kelly Bulkeley

Subjects: Dreams
Series: SUNY series in Dream Studies
Paperback : 9780791442845, 217 pages, September 1999
Hardcover : 9780791442838, 217 pages, September 1999

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Table of contents


Introduction: The Varieties of Religious Dream Experience

1. Root Metaphor Dreams

2. Dreaming and Conversion

3. Where Do Dreams Come From?

4. Sharing Dreams in Community Settings

5. Dreams and Environmental Ethics

6. Dreaming in a Totalitarian Society: A Winnicottian Reading of Charlotte Beradt's The Third Reich of Dreams

7. Dreaming Is Play: A Response to Freud

8. Gods, REMS, and What Neurology Has to Say about the Religious Meanings of Dreams

9. The Evil Dreams of Gilgamesh: Interpreting Dreams in Mythological Texts

10. Wisdom's Refuge in the Night: Dreams in The Mahabharata, The Ramayana, and Richard III

11. Dreamily Deconstructing the Dream Factory: The Wizard of Oz and A Nightmare on Elm Street

12. Dreams within Films, Films within Dreams

13. Dreaming in Russia, August 1991

Postscript on Dreams, Religion, and Psychological Studies

Bibliographical Essays


Freud and Psychoanalysis
Jung and Analytic Psychology
Alternative Clinical Theories about Dreams
Sleep Laboratory Research on REM Sleep and Dreaming
Dreaming and Cognition
Content Analysis
Children's Dreams
Gender and Sexuality
Popular Psychology
Lucid Dreaming
Paranormal Dreams
Cross-Cultural Studies of Dreaming
Dreams, Psychology, and the Humanities
Dreams, Psychology, and Religion
Key Resources in the Study of Dreams




A wide-ranging exploration of the spiritual and scientific dimensions of dreaming.


This wide-ranging exploration of the spiritual and scientific dimensions of dreaming offers new connections between the ancient wisdom of the world's religious traditions, which have always taught that dreams reveal divine truths, and the recent findings of modern psychological research. Drawing upon philosophy, anthropology, sociology, neurology, literature, and film criticism, the book offers a better understanding of the mysterious complexity and startling creative powers of human dreaming experience. For those interested in gaining new perspectives on dreaming, the powers of the imagination, and the newest frontiers in the dialogue between religion and science, Visions of the Night promises to be a welcome resource.

Kelly Bulkeley is Lecturer in the Religious Studies Department, Santa Clara University. A former president of the Association for the Study of Dreams, he has published extensively, and is the editor of Among All These Dreamers: Essays on Dreams and Modern Society and the author of The Wilderness of Dreams: Exploring the Religious Meanings of Dreams in Modern Western Culture, also published by SUNY Press.


"I am most intrigued by Bulkeley's notion of dreams as root metaphors. Such a notion fits in well with an existential-phenomenological approach to dream interpretation, and also lends itself to understanding dreams in the context of spirituality. I think this text matches the quality of Bulkeley's 1994 book (The Wilderness of Dreams), which I regard as a potential 'classic' in dream theory. " — Hendrika Vande Kemp, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This book, both a personal and scholastic journey, is well written, tightly argued, and evocative of the deeper regions of the human heart and mind. It covers a wide spectrum of disciplines, from the literary to the religious to the scholarly/historical, and has academic depth as well as an easy reading style. I very much respect Bulkeley's scope of knowledge and breadth of integration. " — Edward Bruce Bynum, author of Families and the Interpretation of Dreams