Spiritual and religious imagery in dreams: A cross cultural analysis

  • Mohamed O. Salem (Author)
  • Teresa L DeCicco (Author)
    Trent University
    Dr. DeCicco, PhD., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Trent University, Canada.  Her area of research includes health, illness, relationships and dreams.  She also has a clinical practice which includes dream interpretation for cancer patients, pain patients, depression and anxiety.  She is the author of The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams in both English and Italian.  She is now working on her next dream book.
  • Mohamed A. Ragab (Author)
  • Said Yousif (Author)
  • Anthony L. Murkar (Author)
    University of Ottawa
  • Mamta Vaswani (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The continuity hypothesis of dreaming suggests that waking day experiences are reflected in dream imagery; research suggests that some waking day experiences have a higher probability of being reflected in dreams than others (Schredl, 2006; Schredl & Hoffmann, 2003). In order to assess the degree to which religious or spiritual beliefs are incorporated from waking life into sleep mentation, a cross-cultural study was undertaken to compare the frequency of dream imagery between two different cultural settings (the United Arab Emirates, and Canada). Results suggested that the dreams from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sample contained significantly more religious/spiritual imagery than the Canadian sample. The UAE student dreams also had more frequent incorporations of a wider variety of imagery categories. Results suggest that religious/spiritual beliefs and practices may have a large impact on dream content.


Spiritual, religious, dreams, mood, UAE, Canadians, cross cultural
How to Cite
Salem, M. O., DeCicco, T. L., Ragab, M. A., Yousif, S., Murkar, A. L., & Vaswani, M. (2013). Spiritual and religious imagery in dreams: A cross cultural analysis. International Journal of Dream Research, 6(2), 94–97. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2013.2.10333