Review of Dreams and Visions in Islamic Societies edited by Ozgen Felek and Alexander D. Knysh State University of New York Press

Dreams and Visions in Islamic Societies. Edited by Ozgen Felek and Alexander D. Knysh. Albany: NY: State University of New York Press, 2012. ISBN: 9781438439938

This essay is a part of our new series, Graduate Students and The Middle Ground Journal

An outgrowth of a panel presentation at the annual Middle East Studies Association Conference and a follow-up conference convened at the University of Michigan, this fascinating collection of essays is designed to reorient contemporary academic discussion of Islamic oneirology by  moving beyond discussions of dream analysis and taking dreams themselves seriously as expressions of individual and social values. In the collection’s introductory essay, Alexander D. Knysh outlines a new approach to dreams and visions in Islamic societies that moves beyond both the simplistic reduction of dreams to divine revelation and the Freudian psychoanalytic approach that reduces them to the neuroses of the subconscious. Knysh argues instead for an integrative approach to the individual, social, and cosmological dimensions of dreaming that emphasizes the mutually productive relationship between values and dreams. By analyzing variant approaches and interpretations across broad social and historical divisions, the contributors to this collection highlight the diversity and complexity of Islamic conceptions of dreams and point toward their capacity to inform new understandings of Islamic culture and society.


For Full Article:

Reviewed by Kevin Jones, University of Michigan
Edited by Sarah R. Hamilton

(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 6, Spring, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy. [Originally published on the St. Scholastica website]