God and Dreams: Is There A Connection?

God and Dreams: Is There A Connection? is available now at the publisher's web site, www.wipfandstock.com. It is available also from Amazon and other outlets.

Endorsements and Reviews:
John Bingham's unique perspective as a priest and psychotherapist reminds us in our increasingly outer oriented technological era that God still speaks to us of the eternal and timeless desires of the soul and its manifestations through the dream. His review of the types of dreams and their utilization in the world's religions and impact in people's lives is priceless."
—Paul Turner
Senior Faculty, California State University, Sacramento

"In the traditions of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung, John Bingham provides pastors, clerics, rabbis, and the laity a judicious phenomenological survey of dreams and dreaming coupled with his seasoned perspectives on interpreting dreams so as to live into a deeper connection with God. I know of no other work that sets forth historical, theological, psychological, and scientific insight so as to be off-the-shelf-ready for teaching, reflection, and book-club study."
—Scott R.A. Starbuck
Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Philosophy, Whitworth University

"The world has marveled at the wondrous bounty bestowed upon Joseph in the realm of dream interpretation, but few have attempted (at least in modern times) to not just interpret dreams, but to understand the underlying desire to secure a personal connection with God. John Pratt Bingham is one of them."
—Imam M. A. Azeez
SALAM Center, Sacramento

"John’s book stimulated a great deal more than just whether dreams are related to God. I will use the book, especially his rich record of the thinking of so many religious, philosophical, psychological and scientific people throughout history. I might even ask John to help me interpret some of the dreams that I am increasingly aware of. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book."
--The Rev. Dennis Cole
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Vancouver, Washington


Overview of Contents
Foreword:
Dr. Kelly Bulkeley has written this.

Introduction: Discerning the Will of God
The Introduction begins with a personal note that indicates why I am exploring the historic connection between God and dreams. Among the several topics the Intoduction addresses are how people have sought to discern the Will of God; the role of revelation and how it is distinguised from divination, hallucinations and delusions; the different roles reason and revelation play in discerning the will of God; what a dream is and the importance of dream imagery in the process of receiving messages from God. The Introduction concludes with a summary.

CHAPTER ONE: Historic Perspectives
After a brief introduction, this chapter explores the ancient Near East attitudes about God and dreams. Oppenheim's three categories of dreams from this period - message dreams, symbolic dreams, mantic dreams - are discussed as are the Egyptian, Babylonian, Hittite, Canaanite, Greek and Roman attitudes. A brief note is made about healing dreams. The chapter concludes with a summary.

CHAPTER TWO: Jewish Perspectives
After an introduction, the Hebrew Scripture's attitudes about God and dreams is explored. Dreams and visions are distinguished and their use in Hebrew Scripture discussed. The dreams of the Patriarchs are identified, the role of the Divine Council is noted, then other dreams found in the Torah are examined. A discussion of how Hebrew Scripture contains negative dream messages from God is followed by an investigation of the passages that are critical of dreams. What is this about? Dream references from the Exile, Post-Exilic, and Intertestamental periods are identified. A discussion regarding the role of the Law in Judaism as well as the Mishnah, Talmud, and Halakhah follows. Rabbinic attitudes about dreams is discussed as is orthodoxy, mysticism and zionism. A summary concludes the chapter.

CHAPTER THREE: Christian Perspectives
An introduction to the chapter is followed by an exploration of the New Testament's use of dreams. An overview of the early Church's perspectives on dreams is followed by a discussion regarding the influence of Jerome on the church's negative attitude about dreams. The remainder of the chapter focuses on the Medieval and contemporary church's attitudes about God and dreams. A summary concludes the chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR: Islamic Perspectives
A brief introduction opens the chapter followed by a discussion of dreams, Muhammad and the early years of Islam. The Prophet's night journey and ascension is reported in some detail. A look at Muhammad's final years is followed by a discussion of the attitudes of the Qur'an and Hadith regarding dreams and revelation. God and dreams in later Islamic thought is investigated next. The chapter concludes with a summary.

CHAPTER FIVE: A Few Other Religious Perspectives
An introduction to the chapter is followed by an overview of how dreams and God are viewed by people in Africa, Asia, Canada, Central and South America, the Native American traditions, and the Pacific Region. The chapter concludes with a summary.

CHAPTER SIX: Some Non-Religious Perspectives
An introduction lays out the many topics the chapter addresses. The dream perspectives of philosphy, psychology, research psychology, cognitive theories in psychology, parapsychology, and anthropology are discussed. An examination of new discoveries in theoretical physics and the philosophy of science follows. A summary concludes the chapter.

CHAPTER SEVEN: Another Perspective
An introduction begins the final discussion of God and dreams. A review of God, dreams, and revelation is followed by an examination of the problems that arise from denying God's involvement with dreams. Next an argument is made that God and dreams are linked. Meaningful orderedness, the transcendetal background of reality, and the interconnectedness of the universe are offered as indications God and dreams are connected. Some final thoughts conclude the chapter.

Appendix A: Six Characteristics of Doing God's Will
Appendix B: Some Characteristics of a Revelation
Bibliography
Index