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How much Counterintuitive Content does Religious Dreaming Contain?

Higher seminar

Reports from a Case Study in a Hindu-Nepalese context.

Religious dreams and dream beliefs often contain representations of interacting supernatural agents who have access to information that may be of strategic importance to humans. Dreaming is a common human experience and is a cultural theme that appears in folk traditions and dream incubation rituals.

In religious dream representations, supernatural agents may communicate ¿inside¿ the dreamer, or the dreamer¿s soul may venture ¿out¿ to communicate with the agent. The bizarreness of recalled dreams inspires the dreamer to impute meanings to them and engage in dream exegesis.

This implies that religious dreams may be framed and interpreted according to popular local notions and rituals. Dreaming has rarely been an object of theoretical reflection in cognitive anthropology or the cognitive science of religion. One question concerns how and to what extent counterintuitive dream representations occurs in ordinary bizarre dreams as opposed to religious dreaming?

The bizarreness of dreams has been debated, and would seem to comprise counterintuitive mental representations. But not all bizarre dreams are counterintuitive, and what constitutes bizarreness varies by individual experience and cultural norms and factors, while that may not be the case with counterintuition. Furthermore, some seemingly counterintuitive dreams where agents shift or identities dissolve may not be religious.

This presentation reports from a case study in a Hindu-Nepalese context consisting of 60 interviews about possible counterintuitive content in religious dreaming. One ambition is to describe the prevalence of and establish a scale of dream counterintuitiveness, for which Barrett¿s six-step system for coding and clarifying the counterintuitiveness of concepts will be employed. Further the project confronts issues with the actual delination of counterintuitiveness.

Lecturer: Andreas Nordin, Senior Lecture, Cultural Studies, Gothenburg University

Date: 11/23/2017

Time: 1:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Location: Globala studier, Konstepidemins väg 2

Page Manager: Helena Svensson|Last update: 4/11/2014

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