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


Nils Neumann
Leibniz Universität Hannover 

Thomas Wagner
Bergische Universität Wuppertal 

Member Area

Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers

At the 2022 meeting at the University of Toulouse our research group deals with “Motific and semantic characteristics of vision reports”. Proposals are welcome that point out recurring or unique ideas of visionary settings and their expressions in Biblical texts as well as in the Ancient Near East and the Graeco-Roman world. The contributions can focus on analyses of individual motifs as well as on genre-specific considerations. To what extent do these representations connect to motifs of the human life world and how do they change when transferred to the divine sphere? What effect does the linguistic expression have on the reader? And: Can literary-historical references be discerned between these texts? Or do the linguistic representations of visions indicate that there are linguistic and motific markers that evoke associations with or allusions to visionary settings in the listeners/readers?