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Archiv für Religionsgeschichte

Ed. by Bickel, Susanne / Frankfurter, David / Johnston, Sarah Iles / Pironti, Gabriella / Rüpke, Jörg / Scheid, John / Várhelyi, Zsuzsanna

Together with Beard, Mary / Bonnet, Corinne / Borgeaud, Philippe / Henrichs, Albert / Knysh, Alexander / Lissarrague, Francois / Malamoud, Charles / Maul, Stefan / Parker, Robert C. Y. / Shaked, Shaul / Stroumsa, Gedaliahu Guy / Tardieu, Michel / Volokhine, Youri

CiteScore 2018: 0.26

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.132
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.435

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Dangerous Dreaming: The Christian Transformation of Dream Incubation

Fritz Graf
Published Online: 2014-03-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/arege-2013-0009


Deubner’s thesis of an easy transformation of pagan into Christian incubation has been revived recently. In my paper, I argue against such an easy reception, both for general and for specific reasons. Christian theology was much more suspicious of dreams than the pagan world and would argue against an easy adoption of dream incubation; this is confirmed by the fact that the ritual forms of dream healing in Christian churches looked very different from the rituals in pagan incubation shrines and never attained the uniformity of the pagan rites. None of the few cases where continuity has been argued for on archaeological grounds stands up to closer scrutiny, and the analysis of dream healing in the church of the Twelve Apostles in Menouthis near Alexandria and of other early literary records leads to a very nuanced understanding of how Christian dream healing succeeded pagan incubation.

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Published Online: 2014-03-26

Published in Print: 2014-03-01

Citation Information: Archiv für Religionsgeschichte, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 117–142, ISSN (Online) 1868-8888, ISSN (Print) 1436-3038, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/arege-2013-0009.

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