Dream Cultures: Explorations in the Comparative History of Dreaming / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $64.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 48%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $64.49   
  • New (7) from $79.99   
  • Used (5) from $64.49   


This volume offers a comparative, cross-cultural history of dreams. The essays examine a wide range of texts concerning dreams, as culled from a rich variety of religious contexts: China, India, the Americas, classical Greek and Roman antiquity, early Christianity, and medieval Judaism and Islam. Taken together, these pieces constitute an important first step toward a new understanding of the differences and similarities between the ways in which different cultures experience the universal yet utterly unique world of dreams.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a major contribution to redressing the need for more culturally sensitive theories of dreams and dreaming."— Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Times Literary Supplement
. . . [D]reams, once told, are interpreted according to cultural expectations, and depend for their meaning on the way a particular society differentiates dreams from other forms of mental activity, such as fantasy, ecstatic vision, or memory. Where there is a sense of a bounded self, the dream-world will differ from that of a culture which imagines a self permeable to cosmic forces. In the Western tradition, dreams are thought of primarily as visual experiences, while among Amerindians the aural aspect is more significant, especially when an animal speaks to the dreamer. . . .

According to classical Hindu thought, discussed by Wendy Doniger, the apparent universe is a dream dreamt by God. Dreams offer a moment for human beings to coincide with the cosmic plan and so may be valid sources of insight into reality. Bhrama (illusion) can be the key to brahma (the cosmos), as Doniger pithily puts it. This resonates with the seventeenth-century Puritan conviction that dreams could be a means of connecting to the prelapsarian world. . . . .

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195123364
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
I China and India
2 Dreams of Interpretation in Early Chinese Historical and Philosophical Writings 17
3 Dreaming the Self in South India 43
4 The Dreams and Dramas of a Jealous Hindu Queen 74
II Amerindia
5 Sharing and Interpreting Dreams in Amerindian Nations 87
6 Mythic Dreams and Double Voicing 104
III Mediterranean: Classical and Late Antiquity
7 Dream Interpretation in a Prosperous Age? Artemidorus, the Greek Interpreter of Dreams 121
8 On the Mantic Meaning of Incestuous Dreams 143
9 Idolum and Imago: Roman Dreams and Dream Theories 169
10 Dreams and Visions in Early Christian Discourse 189
11 Communication with the Dead in Jewish Dream Culture 213
IV Middle Ages and Modern West
12 Astral Dreams in Judaism: Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries 235
13 Dreaming Analyzed and Recorded: Dreams in the World of Medieval Islam 252
14 The Liminality and Centrality of Dreams in the Medieval West 274
15 Engendering Dreams: The Dreams of Adam and Eve in Milton's Paradise Lost 288
16 The Cultural Index of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams 303
Index 315
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)