Vision and Envisionment in the Bible and its World


Communication about visionary experiences and visionary contents is a widespread phenomenon both, in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as well as in ancient pagan cultures. The research unit focuses on this phenomenon and seeks to explore rhetorical and narrative strategies that texts make use of in describing experiences and contents of prophetic vision. Among others the following texts and traditions may be of primary importance with regard to our research interest:

  • prophetic traditions in the Hebrew Bible,
  • apocalyptic traditions in ancient Judaism and the New Testament,
  • descriptions of otherworldly journeys,
  • accounts on visionary experiences in ancient pagan cultures.


Prophecy, Vision, Envisionment, Rhetorical Criticism, Narrative Criticism, Implied Responses

Current Term:



Nils Neumann
Leibniz Universität Hannover 

Thomas Wagner
Bergische Universität Wuppertal 

Member Area

Sofia 2024 Call for Papers

The term “visions” is often used synonymously in modern cultures for seeing an irrational occurrence and thus does not represent a rational approach to knowledge. Rather, visions are rejected as a source of knowledge. Recent epistemological studies attempt to remove this separation by understanding faith experiences as a source of knowledge even under the conditions of modern rationality (f.e. Alvin Plantinga, 1993-2000), drawing on biblical texts. In our 2024 meeting we will turn to the relationship between empirical knowledge and visions and, on the basis of biblical and extra-biblical texts as well as testimonies of material culture, ask which forms of knowledge are conveyed by visions and how they relate further sources of knowledge.