Jay Johnston

Profile at University of Sydney

Assoc. Prof. Jay Johnston works at the Department of Studies in Religion at University of Sydney. She investigates ritual and its use in identity formation, healing practice and cultural exchange. She is particularly interested in the role of material objects, animals and the natural environment in these practices. Central to this research is her conceptualisation of ‘subtle subjectivity’, and its interrelation with beliefs about the body, senses, desire, aesthetic experience (cultivation of perception) and ethics.



Johnston, J. Angels of Desire: Esoteric Bodies, Aesthetics and Ethics. Gnostica Series. London and Oakville: Equinox, 2008.
Samuel, G. and J. Johnston Between Mind and Body: Subtle Body Practices in Asia and the West. Routledge: London, 2013.
Johnston, J. “Enchanted Sight/Site: An Esoteric Aesthetics of Image and Experience.” The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization, Eds. P. Ingman, M. Broo, T. Hovi and T. Utriainen, Sheffield: Equinox, 2016.
“Slippery and Saucy Discourse: Grappling with the Intersection of ‘Alternate Epistemologies’ and Discourse Analysis.” Making Religion: Theory and Practice in the Discursive Study of Religion. Eds. F. Wijsen and K. von Stuckrad. 2016, 74–96.