Natten är dagens mor. Religiösa visioner i dagens Sverige

  • Antoon Geels


The article is a short presentation of a larger study, based on questionnaires, letters, and short biographies written by 92 ordinary Swedish citizens. Most of them had visions of Jesus or of angels and “divine light”. The questionnaires focus on changes concerning religious activity, attitude towards the Bible, concept of God and religious orientation. The author has chosen to describe 35 cases in the form of short biographies, integrating both quantitative and qualitative data. Since more than 90% of all informants mentioned a crisis prior to the religious vision, the focus in this study is on the relationship between life-crisis and religious vision. Psychologically speaking, religious visions can be regarded as autosymbolic representations of intrapsychic conflicts. Visions of Jesus, angels, or the divine light, are symbolic representations of order, as against chaos. In almost all cases the vision brings an end to the life-crisis, ends chaos, and establishes order. This strong relation between an acute life-crisis and the religious vision reminds us of a poem with the headline “Friend, in moments of devastation”, written by the well-known Swedish poet Erik Johan Stagnelius (1793-1823): “Therefore rejoice, o friend, and sing in the darkness of sorrow: The night is the mother of day, Chaos lives next to God.”