Chapter 7. Speaking Stones: Runic Inscriptions and the Legacy of Religious Discourse on their Interpretation

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.

Description

Providing a further case study of the overt and covert influence of religious belief on archaeological (and philological) practice, this chapter is a discourse analysis of the antiquarian interpretations of the runic inscriptions of Maes Howe (Orkney). In particular it exemplifies the interrelationship of the subject areas as the different disciplinary identities emerged in the nineteenth century and identifies the enduring contemporary legacy of these early studies.

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Citation

Johnston, Jay. Chapter 7. Speaking Stones: Runic Inscriptions and the Legacy of Religious Discourse on their Interpretation. Stag and Stone - Religion, Archaeology and Esoteric Aesthetics. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Nov 2020. ISBN 9781781793381. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=27299. Date accessed: 27 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27299. Nov 2020

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