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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Dreams have played many roles in the history of religious conversion. This chapter looks at the significance of contemporary dream research for the study of conversion experiences. Recurrent features in dream content can illuminate shared themes in conversion experiences across historical and cultural boundaries, enabling a more nuanced and empirically grounded comparison of conversions in different contexts. Dream research also provides new ways of understanding individual cases of religious conversion by highlighting the multilayered interaction of personal, cultural, and spiritual forces at work in conversion dreams. If one of the goals of conversion studies is to understand the dynamic complexity of people’s experiences when they go through a major change of religious outlook, then a familiarity with contemporary dream research can be a valuable means of identifying the different strands of meaning woven into those transformative experiences.

Keywords: dreams, dreaming, conversion, nightmares, interpretation, C. G. Jung

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