Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D.

(note: birth name is George Edward Bulkley)


The University of Chicago Divinity School Ph.D., 1992 -Religion and Psychological Studies

Harvard Divinity School M.T.S., 1986 –  Christianity and Culture

Stanford University B.A., 1984 – Philosophy and Religious Studies

Academic Honors


IASD Research Grant Award (with Tracey L. Kahan), 2008

Meid Mentorship Lecturer, Loyola Marymount College, 2007

Niles Lecturer in Religion and Science, St. Lawrence University, 2004

Winner, Religion and Science Course Award Program, 2000.

Winner, Common Boundary Dissertation Award, 1992.


Dissertation accepted with Distinction, 1992.

Entering Fellowship in Ph.D. Studies, 1986-87.


Graduate with Distinction, 1984.

Current Positions

  • Director, Sleep and Dream Database (http://sleepanddreamdatabase.org)
  • Senior Editor, Dreaming: The Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams
  • Contributing Editor, Dream Time magazine
  • Editorial Advisor, Pastoral Psychology

Publications: Books

  • The Spirituality of Dreaming (Broadleaf Books, 2023)
  • 2020 Dreams: Towards a New Understanding of the Dreaming-Waking Continuum (co-authored with Maja Gutman-Music) (Stanford University Press, 2023)
  • The Scribes of Sleep: Insights from the Most Important Dream Journals in History (Oxford University Press, 2023).
  • Escape from Mercury (co-edited with T.A. Reilly) (The Apollo Project Press, 2022)
  • Lucrecia the Dreamer: Prophecy, Cognitive Science, and the Spanish Inquisition (Stanford University Press, 2018)
  • Big Dreams: The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Lucid Dreaming: New Perspectives on Consciousness in Sleep 2 volumes (co-edited with Ryan Hurd) (ABC-Clio, forthcoming)
  • Children’s Dreams (co-authored with Patricia Bulkley) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012)
  • Teaching Jung (co-edited with Clodagh Weldon) (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Dreaming in the Classroom: Practices, Methods, and Resources in Dream Education (co-authored with Phil King and Bernard Welt) (State University of New York Press, 2011)
  • Dreaming in Christianity and Islam: Culture, Conflict, and Creativity (co-edited with Kate Adams and Patricia M. Davis) (Rutgers University Press, 2009)
  • Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History (New York University Press, 2008)
  • American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell Us about the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else (Beacon Press, 2008)
  • Soul, Psyche, Brain: New Directions in the Study of Religion and Brain-Mind Science (Editor) (Palgrave, 2005)
  • Dreaming Beyond Death (co-authored with Patricia Bulkley) (Beacon Press, 2005)
  • The Wondering Brain: Thinking About Religion With and Beyond Cognitive Neuroscience (Routledge, 2005)
  • Dreams of Healing: Transforming Nightmares into Visions of Hope (Paulist Press, 2003)
  • Dreams: A Reader on the Religious, Cultural, and Psychological Dimensions of Dreaming (Editor) (Palgrave, 2001)
  • Transforming Dreams (John Wiley & Sons, 2000)
  • Visions of the Night: Dreams, Religion, and Psychology (State University of New York Press, 1999).
  • Dreamcatching(Co-authored with Alan Siegel) (Three Rivers Press, 1998).
  • An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming (Praeger, 1997)
  • Among All These Dreamers: Essays on Dreaming and Modern Society(Editor) (State University of New York Press, 1996).
  • Spiritual Dreaming: A Cross-Cultural and Historical Journey (Paulist Press, 1995).
  • The Wilderness of Dreams: Exploring the Religious Meanings of Dreams in Modern Western Culture (State University of New York Press, 1994).

Publications: Articles

  • 2022. The Essential Dreaminess of “Twin Peaks: The Return.” The International Journal of Dream Research 15:1, 174-179.
  • Dreams, Race, and the Black Lives Matter Movement: Results of a Survey of American Adults. Pastoral Psychology 71: 29-41. (Co-authored with Michael Schredl)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Shakespeare’s Play of Dreaming. Dreaming 30: 297-316.
  • Dreaming and the COVID-10 pandemic: A survey in a US American sample. Dreaming 30: 235-245. (Co-authored with Michael Schredl)
  • Dream-Sharing, Play, and Cultural Creativity. In New Directions in the Anthropology of Dreaming (edited by Jeannette Mageo and Robin Sheriff) (Routledge), 114-134.
  • Parasomnias in English Literature: Sleep and Dream Phenomena in Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter. In Parasomnia Dreaming: Sleep-State Specific Consciousness (edited by James Pagel) (Nova Science Press), 321-342.
  • Attitudes towards Dreaming: Effects of socio-demographic and religious variables in an American sample. International Journal of Dream Research 12 (1), 75-81. (Co-authored with Michael Schredl)
  • Dream-sharing frequency: Associations with sociodemographic variables and attitudes toward dreams in an American sample. Dreaming 29: 211-219. (Co-authored with Michael Schredl)
  • The Subversive Dreams of Alice in Wonderland. International Journal of Dream Research 12 (2): 49-59.
  • 2019. Dreaming Is Imaginative Play in Sleep: A Theory of the Function of Dreams. Dreaming 29: 1-23.
  • 2018. The Royal Road Meets the Data Highway. In Depth Psychology and Mysticism (edited by Thomas Cattoi and David Odorisio) (Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 49-64.
  • 2018. The Meaningful Continuities Between Dreaming and Waking: Results of a Blind Analysis of a Woman’s Thirty-Year Dream Journal.  Dreaming 28: 337-350.
  • 2018. Using the LIWC Program to Study Dreams.  Dreaming 28: 43-58. (co-authored with Mark Graves)
  • 2017. A Response to the Readers of Big DreamsPastoral Psychology 66:715-719.
  • 2016. Cthulhu Fhtagn: Dreams and Nightmares in the Fantasy Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft.  Dreaming 26: 50-57.
  • Dreams as a Source of Supernatural Agent Concepts.  Frontiers in Psychology 6:283.  (co-authored with Patrick McNamara)
  • 2015. Dream. In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion (edited by Robert Segal and Kocku von Stuckrad) (Brill).
  • 2014. Religious Conversion and Cognitive Neuroscience; Dreaming and Conversion. In Handbook of Religious Conversion (edited by Lewis Rambo and Charles Farhadian) (Oxford University Press).
  • 2014. Religious Worship and Dream Recall: New Results from an American Survey. Pastoral Psychology 63: 123-132.
  • 2013. The Dream Logic of Twin Peaks. In Fan Phenomena: Twin Peaks (edited by Marisa C. Hayes and Franck Boulegue) (Intellect Ltd), 66-73.
  • 2012.  Dreaming in Adolescence: A “Blind” Word Search of a Teenage Girl’s Dream Series.  Dreaming 22(4): 240-252.
  • 2012.  Dream Recall and Political Ideology: Results of a Demographic Survey.  Dreaming 22(1): 1-9.
  • 2012.  Ancient Greek Dream Beliefs; Dreams and Religion; Dreams in Fantasy Literature; Jung’s Dream Theory.  In Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams (edited by Deirdre Barrett and Patrick McNamara) (ABC-Clio).
  • 2012. The Wondering Brain: Dreaming, Religion, and Cognitive Science. In Changing Minds: Religion and Cognition Through the Ages (edited by I. Czachesz and T. Biro) (Peeters), 75-85.
  • 2011. Big Dreams: The Science of Highly Memorable Dreams. In On Dreams and Dreaming (edited by Sudhir Kakar) (Penguin), 1-20.
  • 2011.  Big Dreams: An Analysis Using Central Image Intensity, Content Analysis, and Word Searches (co-authored with Ernest Hartmann).  Dreaming 21(3): 157-167
  • 2010. Dreaming as Inspiration: Evidence from Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and Film. International Review of Neurobiology 92: 31-46.
  • 2010. Freud and Neuroscience: A Return to Origins. In Disciplining Freud on Religion (edited by William Parsons) (Rowman & Littlefield), 147-165.
  • 2010. Detecting Meaning in Dream Reports: An Extension of a Word Search Approach. (Co-authored with G. William Domhoff). Dreaming 20(2): 77-95.
  • 2009. Seeking Patterns in Dream Content: A Systematic Approach to Word Searches. Consciousness and Cognition 18: 905-916.
  • 2009. Mystical Dreaming: Patterns in Form, Content, and Meaning. Dreaming 19(1): 30-41.
  • 2009. The Religious Content of Dreams: A New Scientific Foundation. Pastoral Psychology 52(2): 93-101.
  • 2008. The Impact of September 11 on Dreaming. (Co-authored with Tracey L. Kahan.) Consciousness and Cognition 17:1248-1256.
  • 2007. Sacred Sleep: Scientific Contributions to the Study of Religiously Significant Dreaming. In The New Science of Dreaming (edited by Patrick McNamara and Deirdre Barrett) (Praeger Perspectives), 71-94.
  • 2006. Consciousness and Neurotheology. In Science, Religion, and Society: History, Culture, and Controversy (edited by Gary Laderman and Arri Eisen) (M.E. Sharpe).
  • 2006. Sleep and Dream Patterns of Political Liberals and Conservatives. Dreaming16(3): 223-235.
  • 2006. Mystical Dreaming, in the Shadow of Apocalypse. Elixir 1(3): 33-39.
  • 2006. The Origins of Dreaming: Perspectives from Science and Religion. In Where Man and God Meet: The New Sciences of Religion and Brain (edited by Patrick McNamara) (Praeger Perspectives).
  • 2006. Review of Altamira Press’ “Cognitive Science of Religion Series.” The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 16(3): 239-242.
  • 2006. Revision of the Good Fortune Scale: A New Tool for the Study of “Big Dreams.” Dreaming 16(1): 11-21.
  • 2005. Earliest Remembered Dreams. Dreaming 15(3): 205-222.
  • 2005. The Dreams We Dream For Each Other. In Catalog for the DreamingNow 2005 Exhibit, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University.
  • 2004. Dreaming Is Play II: Revonsuo’s Threat Simulation Theory in Ludic Context. Sleep and Hypnosis 6(3): 119-129.
  • 2004. Dreaming of War in Iraq: A Preliminary Report. Sleep and Hypnosis 6(1): 19-28.
  • 2003. The Gospel According to Darwin: The Relevance of Cognitive Neuroscience to Religious Studies. Religious Studies Review 29(2): 123-129.
  • 2003. Dreams and the Cinema of David Lynch. Dreaming 13(1): 49-60.
  • 2002. East Meets West in Cambridge: A Report on the “Science and Mind/Body Medicine” Conference. PCR News 25(2): 4-6.
  • 2002. Reflections on the Dream Traditions of Islam. Sleep and Hypnosis 4(1): 1-11.
  • 2002. Dream Content and Political Ideology. Dreaming 12(2): 61-78.
  • 2000. It’s All Just a Bad Dream. San Francisco Chronicle (December 6): A27.
  • 2000. Dream Interpretation: Practical Methods for Pastoral Care and Counseling. Pastoral Psychology49(2): 95-104.
  • 2000. Introduction to the Special Issue on Historical Studies of Dreaming. (With
  • Hendrika Vande Kemp.) Dreaming 10(1): 1-6.
  • 1999. Who’s Right in the Family Values Debate? A Review of the Books from the
  • Religion, Culture, and Family Project. Religious Studies Review 25(2): 141-145.
  • 1999. Touring the Dream Factory: The Dream-Film Connection in “The Wizard of Oz” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Dreaming 9(1): 101-110.
  • 1999. “Home” and “Sacred Marriage.” In The Encyclopedia of Women and Religion (edited by Serinity Young) (Macmillan).
  • 1999. “Insomnia.” In The Dictionary of Pastoral Studies (edited by Joanna Moriarty) (SPCK Press).
  • 1998. Penelope as Dreamer: A Reading of Book 19 of The Odyssey. Dreaming 8(4): 229-242.
  • 1996. Dream-Sharing Groups, Spirituality, and Community. Journal of Religion and Health 35(1): 59-66.
  • 1996. Dreaming as a Spiritual Practice. Anthropology of Consciousness 7(2): 1-15.
  • 1995. Conversion Dreams. Pastoral Psychology 44(1): 3-12.
  • 1995. Psychological and Spiritual Development in Childhood. Religious Studies Review 21(2): 86-90.
  • 1994. Dreaming in a Totalitarian Society: A Reading of Charlotte Beradt’s The Third Reich of Dreams. Dreaming 4(2): 115-126.
  • 1993. The Evil Dreams of Gilgamesh: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Dreams in Mythological Texts. In The Dream and The Text: Essays on Literature and Language (edited by Carol Schreier Rupprecht) (State University of New York Press).
  • 1993. Why Study Dreams? A Religious Studies Perspective. (Co-authored with Wendy Doniger) Dreaming 3(1): 69-73.
  • 1993. Dreaming is Play. Psychoanalytic Psychology 10(4): 501-514.
  • 1993. “Jung’s Dream Theory.” In The Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreaming (edited by Mary A. Carskadon) (Macmillan).
  • 1992. Dreams, Spirituality, and Root Metaphors. Journal of Religion and Health31(3): 197-206.
  • 1991. The Quest for Transformational Experience: Dreams and Environmental Ethics. Environmental Ethics 13(2): 151-163.
  • 1991. Gods and REMs: The Implications of Recent Dream Research for the Psychology of Religion. Pastoral Psychology 41(6): 349-358
  • 1991. Interdisciplinary Dreaming: Hobson’s Successes and Failures. Dreaming 1(3): 225-234.
Continues- (screen credits, book reviews, classes)

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF): KB CV