Dr Jenny Butler is a well known folklorist and scholar of religions. She is the leading authority on the academic study of contemporary Paganism in the Irish context, having conducted the first ever ethnographic study of Irish contemporary Paganism. Her book on this topic, 21st Century Irish Paganism: Worldview, Ritual, Identity, is forthcoming from Routledge.
Dr Butler has given numerous keynote addresses and over a hundred conference presentations and invited talks in Ireland and internationally. She has been the recipient of many awards, bursaries and accolades, and her research has been supported by the Irish Research Council, the Royal Irish Academy, the Ireland-Canada University Foundation, the Ireland-Newfoundland Partnership (Department of the Taoiseach), and by the UCC College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Research Support Fund. Dr Butler has been a Government of Ireland Research Scholar (2001-2004), a Dobbin Scholar (2010) and a Char lemont Scholar (2017).
Dr Butler is currently working on a comparative ethnographic project, Fairy Lore & Landscapes, on the otherworld traditions connected to the landscapes of Ireland, Newfoundland in Canada, and Iceland. The project explores the interconnections of worldviews, customs, and sense of place as intangible cultural heritage.
Dr Butler is the President of The Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) and an elected member of the Executive Committee (Publications Officer, Second Term) of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR). She is a Committee Member of the Anthropological Association of Ireland (AAI).
Dr Butler founded the research network, the Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism (INSEP), a Regional Network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), and she is currently an Officer on the ESSWE Board. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Pagan Studies Unit Steering Committee.
Dr Butler has collaborated with various artists and has worked with the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, The Crawford Gallery, Cork, The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, The Glucksman Gallery, Cork, The Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, St Luke's Crypt, Cork, Galway Arts Centre, and the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork. She has also collaborated on events with bookshops, including Treadwell's Books, London and Peter Harrington Rare Books, London.
Dr Butler has appeared on documentaries and shows on The Smithsonian Channel, The History Channel, VisionTV, RTÉ, Virgin Media, and TG4.
Dr Jenny Butler is a Lecturer in the Study of Religions Department, University College Cork, where she teaches various courses including 'Myth & Magic: An Introduction to the Study of Irish Folklore and Mythology', 'Western Esotericism and New Religious Movements', 'Folk Religion in a Globalised World', and 'Contemporary Religions in Ireland'. She is a Principal Investigator of UCC's Environmental Research Institute (ERI).