Original Research

Religion and spirituality in contemporary dreams

Werner Nell
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1039 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1039 | © 2012 Werner Nell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2011 | Published: 20 February 2012

About the author(s)

Werner Nell, North-West University, South Africa


This article examines the spiritual value and role of dreams in the lives of South African Christians, based on the findings of a qualitative research project in which semistructured interviews were used to examine the dream-related beliefs and practices of contemporary Christians. The findings indicated that dreams are still considered to be of distinct religious value and importance by a significant number of the Christian participants who took part in the study. Specifically, the participants reported that their dreams often serve as source of spiritual inspiration, insight and guidance, as well as feedback on decisions and ways of living. It was also indicated that dreams sometimes constituted an important natural resource in coming to terms with bereavement. In response to this, the article closes with a call for a re-evaluation of the position and value of dreams in contemporary Christianity, and offers several practical suggestions for working with dreams in a spiritual context.


Dreams; religion; spirituality; sociology


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