For Immediate Release

Divination Lecture: "Divination Through the History of Dreaming"

(March 1, 2013 Cambridge, MA)  What do our dreams mean, and what do they tell us about the future and ourselves? The "future" that dreams may divine can extend beyond the simple mystery of "what is to come." The history of religious dream divination has comprised the "future" of disease and healing; the nature of the afterlife; and omens for entire communities and nations, often involving a difficult and ambiguous choice.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents the free lecture "Divination Through the History of Dreaming" on Friday, April 5, 2013 at Haller Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue). The lecture is the fifth in a year-long series about divination.

The practice of divination has taken myriad forms throughout human history; one of the most ubiquitous is to incubate dreams in a traditional way or in a ritual location. Dreams may be seen as a portal to hidden states of being or as divine knowledge democratically bestowed, requiring careful attention. They are ignored at one's peril.

Kimberley C. Patton is Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School. She specializes in ancient Greek religion and archaeology. She also teaches the history of world religions, offering courses in cross-cultural religious phenomenology. Her latest book, Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity (Oxford, 2009), won the 2010 American Academy of Religion Book Award for Excellence in Religious Studies in the Analytical-Descriptive category.

Divination lecture seriesLook for the tarot card icon on the Peabody Museum calendar for more lectures on divination.




About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $8 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397





Above: A Cuna mola with a dream motif, San Blas Islands, Panama. PM 971-14-20/23880. HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.

Kimberley C. Patton, Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion, Harvard Divinity School

"Divination Through the History of Dreaming," part of the free Peabody Museum Divination lecture series, is Friday, April 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm at the Haller Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027