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UCC Eco-Humanities: Folklorist and Scholar of religions, Dr Jenny Butler joins the ERI

We are delighted to welcome our newest ERI Academic, Dr Jenny Butler, faculty member of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, and Lecturer and Director of Graduate Studies in the Study of Religions Department. Dr Butler is also co-convenor of the UCC Eco-Humanities Research Group.

Dr Butler teaches on contemporary religions in Ireland, Western esotericism and new and emergent religious traditions, and has been a Lecturer at UCC since 2002. She is an internationally established researcher in the area of new religious movements and the study of folk religion, and is a leading scholar in her field, having conducted the first ever ethnographic study of Irish contemporary Paganism.

Research interests:

Dr Jenny Butler conducts ethnological research in the area of religion and culture and is interested in spiritual connection to the land, nature, and wider environment. She is interested in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), conceptualisations of sacred landscapes, and in indigenous and other traditional knowledge of local resources and sustainable living with a view to viable green ways of living, environmental conservation (of natural and built heritage), and community-building.

“I am interested in working on environmental challenges connected to maintaining biodiversity, native trees and plants, and ‘rewilding’; my work can connect to this area with regard to folklore and folk medicine. I’m also interested in any project to do with the interconnection of religiosity or spirituality and the protection of the natural world. The interdisciplinary collaboration that I would envisage would be with ecologists, aquatic/marine biologists (in relation to folklore of the ocean, marshes and other wetlands), and those in food science, forestry and agricultural sciences (folklore of trees, festivals, animals, and weather lore). I would be interested in interdisciplinary research projects and being involved in public engagement and educational projects or programmes.”

Web profile: