Do You Dream What I Dream?

 An anthropologist investigates what unites and distinguishes the human universal of dreaming.

Anthropologist Roger Lohmann sees a ghost in a dream while working in Papua New Guinea. Even though he knows it’s just a dream, he’s scared long after he wakes up. To make sense of his dream, Lohmann explores the role dreams play in our waking life and how different cultures make sense of dream worlds. Do all humans dream the same? Or do the cultures we are immersed in shape our dreams? Lohmann has six cultural dream theories that offer some answers to what dreams are and what they mean.



Roger Lohmann is a professor of anthropology at Trent University, where he specializes in religion, cultural change, and cultural dream theory. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlohmann.

Read Lohmann’s article at SAPIENS: “The Night I Was Attacked by a Ghost.” And for more, check out an essay about Islamic dream culture: “Do Dreams Give Voice to the Divine?

Read a transcript of this episode here.

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.