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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. Passar bra ihop. Giving to God Amira Mittermaier.

Dreams That Matter by Amira Mittermaier - Paperback - University of California Press

Mittermaier provides a superb analysis of the imaginative repertoires of Islamic traditions and shows how the dream has remained not only a site of Muslim scholarly interest, but an important part of the way ordinary Muslims encounter and engage with the divine. It is a sensitive, intellectually challenging, indeed a courageous, investigation of the psychological, ontological, and ethical assumptions that lie behind dreams, visions, and dream-visitations in contemporary Egypt—where the dream is a vibrant site of political, religious, and interpretive contest.

Dreams That Matter will rank among the most important contributions to the anthropology of the imagination for years to come. Thresholds of Interpretation.

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This belief emerges from a longer history in the West in which theorists of power continually fought to diminish church authority, expanding in effect a supposedly self-contained realm of pure political power. By the time of the Renaissance, political philosophers sought to break down any overlap between religion and politics, con- ceived them starkly as independent forms.

Berkeley: University of California Press, She draws This content downloaded from Her understanding of Freudian dream analysis goes beyond that of pop psychology a phenomenon that she also ana- lyzes in the Egyptian context , but ultimately she finds Freudian dream analysis to be too restrictive, focusing as it does on the autonomous individual and failing to grasp the broader social, ethical, and political implications and impacts of dreams.

Could there be a better example of the conflation of the worlds of the dead and of the living?

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With remarkable agility and eclecticism, Mittermaier refers to anthropological, philosophical, psychoanalytic, and Islamic literature. In the end, despite all its insights, the book offers not an authoritative analysis of dreams and their place in Egyptian life but rather a series of thought-provoking reflections on the meaning of dreams and what constitu- tes reality. It is unlikely that any author feels that his or her contributions are adequately appre- ciated by later scholars, who independently arrive at similar discoveries and give the impression that these are entirely new.

All of these are mentioned in somewhat different wording in this book as if they are new discoveries.

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But then again this omission might point to a tendency to cite sources without adequate awareness of their contents and contributions. Her analysis of the limitations imposed by the mass media on the efficacy and depth of traditional dream interpretation is particularly insightful. She responds by pointing to the social and political relevance of dream visions.


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She also wondered, early in her research, whether, by focusing on dreams, she was unwittingly reinforcing old myths about the irrational Orient. She defends against such self-accu- sations by undermining the authority of ratiocentric perspectives.


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More convincing is her statement that dreams have often impelled the dreamer to engage in particular courses of action e. Any book has shortcomings.