Dreams are important in Africa. They guide and they also disturb. Yet when Christians try to find meaning in their dreams, they have to juggle with very different worldviews: African traditions in regards to dreams, Biblical and Christian traditions, and Western psychological traditions. Such worldviews are built on very different premises in regards to the implicit understandings of human nature. Yet there are also significant meeting points that can be used to make an approach to dreams sound: from an African perspective, a Christian perspective and a psychological perspective. This book identifies and clarifies some important issues when looking at dreams in Africa's multicultural context. All case studies come from Zambian backgrounds, but may be of significance far beyond Zambia. The book is written for all who have an interest in dreams, from the perspectives of African cultural traditions, psychology and theology. It is of special benefit for those who help people in the pastoral field to deal with compelling dream experiences. The authors of this book are Catholic priests of the Missionaries of Africa and part of the FENZA team (Faith and Encounter Centre Zambia). They all have extensive experiences in pastoral counselling in Zambian and African settings and are approached regularly for help in regards to dreams. Gotthard Rosner is a Bible scholar who in this book presents a Biblical perspective on dreams. He also provides concrete guidance through a questionnaire that can help when interpreting one's own dreams. Bernhard Udelhoven studied social anthropology and looks at dreams in Zambian cultural traditions, in Western psychology and in Church history. Differences in relating to dreams depend largely on the implicit understanding of human nature. Drawing out the meeting points, he proposes that one can approach dreams in a way that is culturally, psychologically and theologically sound when one starts by looking at concrete relationships. Interpersonal relationships are central (instead of introspection) when looking for meaning in dreams in African settings. Patrick Mumbi is trained in social anthropology and counselling. He offers in this book one of his personal dream interpretations.
About the Author
Gotthard Rosner holds an MA in Divinity (Ottawa University), an MA in Theology (St. Paul's University, Ottawa) and a Licentiate of the Biblical Institute in Rome. As a missionary he worked in Uganda, Zambia, France and Italy. He has been teaching in Gulu (Uganda), Lusaka and Kasama (Zambia) and in the Catholic Institute in Toulouse. From 1992 to 1998 he held the position of Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa. Since then he has been working for on-going formation programmes for Diocesan priests in Zambia. Presently he is the director of the Faith and Encounter Centre Zambia (FENZA). In Zambia he has published several Biblical works together with the Zambian Episcopal Conference. He has been a regular contributor to various Christian magazines. Bernhard Udelhoven holds an STB in theology (Leuven) and an MA in social anthropology (SOAS, University of London). In Zambia, he has been working since 1989 in the Luapula, Eastern and Lusaka provinces. Some of his publications on Zambian Christianity, on the Luangwa Valley, on witchcraft and Satanism, culture change, and on healing are available on the FENZA website (fenza.org/documents). A forthcoming publication ("Coping with unseen worlds: demons, witchcraft, and Satanism") proposes concrete steps and useful procedures and rites when helping families affected by spiritual forces in a holistic way. Patrick Mumbi holds a PhD in cultural studies from Makerere University (Uganda), an MA in social anthropology from SOAS (University of London), and a MA in counselling from University of East-Anglia. He has written about incest and child sexual abuse (Uganda), about Bemba psychotherapy in the cross-cultural setting (Zambia), and on Christian inculturation of twin ceremonies (Uganda). At present he is working on a research project with traditional healers in Lusaka. A forthcoming book "Inheritance the end of moaning and mowing" is dealing with cultural values and family responsibilities that are part of the Bemba funeral rites.