Reading the Dream Text: A Nexus between Dreams and Texts in the Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity
This study deals with conceptions and practices related to dreams in early rabbinic Judaism. One aspect of the Jewish dream culture in particular is considered, viz. the tendency evinced in the rabbinic literature of Late Antiquity to associate dreams and texts with each other. The juxtaposing of elements pertaining to the discourse on dreams and elements relating to the discourse on texts are discernable in rabbinic texts of many different genres, indicating that aspects of these phenomena were considered analogous on some level. In the study, points of intersection between dreams and texts in the rabbinic literature are identified, described and examined through analyses of narratives, aphorisms, prayers, rituals and omina associated with dreams. It is shown that an examination of the nexus between dreams and texts in the rabbinic literature has the potential to yield substantial knowledge of how the nature of dreams was conceived of in rabbinic Judaism of Late Antiquity, as well as to garner insights into some of the culturally modelled procedures that were contrived specifically to respond to the phenomenon of dreaming. In the study some of the underlying cultural problems and social tensions that the texts involved might represent attempts to deal with are identified. It is furthermore argued that the articulations of a dream-text nexus in the rabbinic literature express and play on a fundamental ambivalence regarding the nature and status of the dream and its relation to the culturally sanctioned texts, first and foremost the Bible.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Humanistiska fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Arts
Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion ; Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion
Lördagen den 5 juni 2010, kl. 10.15, Lilla Hörsalen, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6, Göteborg
Date of defence
Talmudic Dreambook (Bavli Berakhot 55a-57b)
catalogue of dream omina
Skrifter utgivna vid Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion, Göteborgs universitet, 37
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