The science and theology of dreams

Patrick McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although dreams were an important theological topic for the early Christians and the Church Fathers, there has been less Christian theological work on dreams in the modern era. I argue that dreams of the OT/NT should be treated together with “visions,” and that these dreams/visions are rooted in REM neurobiology and are manifestations of the utilization of the higher capacities of the mind/brain/soul that allow the individual to access information not otherwise available to the waking mind. Thus knowledge derived from dreams/visions should be (after appropriate discernment criteria are applied) treated as an ongoing and additional source for revelation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-497
Number of pages14
JournalTheology and Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the John Templeton Foundation [grant number 2723].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Graduate Theological Union (CTNS Program).


  • Dreams
  • New testament
  • Old testament
  • Prophesy
  • REM sleep
  • Theology
  • Visions


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