Australasian Animal Studies Association

Johnston, Professor Jay


University of Sydney
Research interests / activities

Jay Johnston FAHA is Professor in Religion within the School of Humanities at the University of Sydney. Her research encompasses theories of human–animal relations and the natural world and their rendering in belief systems. It particularly focuses on the interrelationship of ethics and aesthetics in everyday experiences.

Jay Johnston is trained in religious studies, wildlife conservation, cultural heritage of Scotland and Scandinavia, curatorial and museum studies, art history and theory and continental philosophy. A cross-disciplinary specialist her work demonstrates the importance of religious studies scholarship for the fields of heritage studies, wildlife conservation and environmental humanities, art history, Norse and Celtic studies.

Well-known for her contributions to the subfields of aesthetics of religion and subtle body studies, her current projects focus include (i) biocultural knowledge, wildlife conservation and human–animal–environment relations; (ii) with Ruth Barcan on The Role of Care for Australian Wild Birds in Building Community and Place and (iii) “Faith and Fleece: Sheep as Spiritual, Cultural and Ecological Guides.”