Jay Johnston

PhD, Senior Lecturer (Studies in Religion) University of Sydney

Research examines concepts of materiality, embodiment, perception and image and their use in the construction of religious belief and community identity.  This includes examining the way in which material culture evidences relations across faith boundaries or is identified as the physical locus of a metaphysical agent.  Since 2011, I have indulged an academic obsession with Gaelic and Norse culture via graduate studies at the Nordic Studies Centre, UHI, where my focus has included the history and stone monuments of the Picts and training in Runology.  Research interests include image¬–texts relations and the transmission of Late Antique iconographic influence from the Mediterranean region into Insular and Norse cultures c.8-14th centuries.

Current monograph project: Stag and Stone: Archaeology, Religion and Esoteric Aesthetics examines ontological concepts of image agency, materiality and landscape.  It includes case studies that critically examine the way in which religious frameworks and concepts have been applied to the interpretation of Celtic and Viking-Age stone monuments and an examination of museum/curatorial practice in relation to ‘religious’ material culture.

  • e-mail: jay.johnston (a)