Dreams That Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination

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University of California Press, Dec 16, 2010 - Social Science - 328 pages
Dreams that Matter explores the social and material life of dreams in contemporary Cairo. Amira Mittermaier guides the reader through landscapes of the imagination that feature Muslim dream interpreters who draw on Freud, reformists who dismiss all forms of divination as superstition, a Sufi devotional group that keeps a diary of dreams related to its shaykh, and ordinary believers who speak of moving encounters with the Prophet Muhammad. In close dialogue with her Egyptian interlocutors, Islamic textual traditions, and Western theorists, Mittermaier teases out the dream’s ethical, political, and religious implications. Her book is a provocative examination of how present-day Muslims encounter and engage the Divine that offers a different perspective on the Islamic Revival. Dreams That Matter opens up new spaces for an anthropology of the imagination, inviting us to rethink both the imagined and the real.
 

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Contents

STUDYING DREAMS IN UNDREAMY TIMES
1
1 DREAM TROUBLE
31
2 THRESHOLDS OF INTERPRETATION
54
3 SEEING THE INVISIBLE
84
4 POETRY AND PROPHECY
112
5 THE ETHICS OF THE VISITATIONAL DREAM
140
6 THE ROYAL ROAD INTO THE UNKNOWN
173
7 VIRTUAL REALITIES VISIONARY REALITIES
201
ON THE POLITICS OF DREAMING
232
Notes
241
Glossary
265
Bibliography
269
Index
289
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About the author (2010)

Amira Mittermaier is Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Toronto.

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