Chapter 5. Transpecies Narrative: Strange and Shifty Beasts

Stag and Stone - Religion, Archaeology and Esoteric Aesthetics - Jay Johnston

Jay Johnston [+-]
University of Sydney
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Dr Jay Johnston (B.A., M.Art Admin., M.Litt(Dist), M.A.Hons, PhD) is an interdisciplinary researcher who utilises her training in religious studies, continental philosophy, gender studies, and art history to investigate theories of the intermediary, or 'in between', and its role in religious belief and practice. In particular she rethinks theories of embodiment, agency, image and materiality and their use in the construction of individual identity, religious belief and the negotiation of cultural difference. Current projects include investigating the proposition of 'prehistoric religion' and the interpretation of artefacts, images and texts of ritual power. Specific areas of interest include cultural exchange in Late Antiquity and Scottish and Norse cultures pre1400. Previous research has focused on energetic concepts of embodiment (subtle bodies), forms of intermediary subjectivity and diverse spiritual epistemologies. Dr Johnston has also undertaken curatorial and research projects that explore religious aesthetics including viewer experience, the cultivation of perception and the interrelation of aesthetics and ethics.


Developing the analysis of 'shamanism' and material culture and extending the analysis of 'troublesome' objects, this chapter presents an interpretation of narratives (written and visual) that feature transpecies beings. These figures challenge ontological, epistemological and conceptual boundaries. The scholarly productivity of such 'messy' figures is identified and then exemplified as the foundation for a methodology of enquiry.

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Johnston, Jay. Chapter 5. Transpecies Narrative: Strange and Shifty Beasts. Stag and Stone - Religion, Archaeology and Esoteric Aesthetics. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2021. ISBN 9781781793381. Date accessed: 18 Feb 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27298. Jan 2021

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