ABOUT THIS BOOK
On publication in 2012, Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece quickly met wide acclaim as a gripping work that, according to the Times Literary Supplement, “offers a wholly new way of thinking about dreams in their social contexts.” It tells an extraordinary story of spiritual fervor, prophecy, and the ghosts of the distant past coming alive in the present. This new affordable paperback brings it to the wider audience that it deserves.
Charles Stewart tells the story of the inhabitants of Kóronos, on the Greek island of Naxos, who, in the 1830s, began experiencing dreams in which the Virgin Mary instructed them to search for buried Christian icons nearby and build a church to house the ones they found. Miraculously, they dug and found several icons and human remains, and at night the ancient owners of them would speak to them in dreams. The inhabitants built the church and in the years since have experienced further waves of dreams and startling prophesies that shaped their understanding of the past and future and often put them at odds with state authorities. Today, Kóronos is the site of one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the Mediterranean. Telling this fascinating story, Stewart draws on his long-term fieldwork and original historical sources to explore dreaming as a mediator of historical change, while widening the understanding of historical consciousness and history itself.