Anglo-Saxon Conversion: Life Cycle and Spirituality

The spiritual dreams that have been recorded in Dreams and Visions in the Anglo-Saxon Conversion to Christianity, generally reflect one of eight categories of dreams; each representing a different stage in the human life cycle (Davis, 2005, p. 77).  These categories , according to Davis (2005), are: ”conception, vocation, dream songs and poems, temptation and consolation, other-world journeys, prophecies of death and destruction, glorious obitus (saints at death), and saint’s relics.” (p. 77)

The categories go from birth or conception, to the development of the individual facing particular issues throughout the individual’s life; which are categories of vocation, dream songs and poems, temptation and consolation, and other-world journeys. Leading to the last three categories; which deal with the different aspects of death and the end of the human life cycle. (Davis, 2005, p. 77)

It is interesting to note that, not only were the individuals dealing with a great shift from the Anglo-Saxon’s Pagan religion to Christianity, but were also dealing with significant changes throughout their life cycles. My understanding is, then, that dreams serve two main purposes: helping individuals to deal with and understand such social changes that are occurring, and helping to deal with the different stages of the cycle of life.

Furthermore, these interpretations of dreams may not seem to have a direct relationship to psychology, however it is important to understand what was occurring during this time period during this religious and personal conversion to Christianity. Not just because it gives light on the values of the time but further illustrates how Christianity viewed dreams. As well as, these accounts provide a good image of how these people thought and viewed the world. In addition there, are several categories that bring up, though maybe briefly, several important questions and dilemmas that psychology faces such as, the distinction between the mind and body, and nature versus nurture.

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