Dr Jenny Butler is a well known folklorist and 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. Also forthcoming are the edited collections including Folk Metal: Critical Essays on Identity, Myth and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Twin Peaks Phenomenon: Essays on a Show Both Wonderful and Strange (McFarland).
Dr Butler has been the recipient of many awards, bursaries and accolades, stretching back to her student days when for two years running she was awarded the title of University College Cork College Scholar. Since then she has received various awards, 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 Charlemont Scholar (2017).
Dr Butler is currently working on a comparative ethnographic project on non-ordinary (otherworldly) beings and landscapes, which explores the interconnections of worldviews, customs, and sense of place as intangible cultural heritage. Her key interests are religions and national identities, and the study of new religious movements (NRMs) and emergent religious traditions.
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) of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR). She is a Committee Member of the Anthropological Association of Ireland (AAI) and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC). 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), of which she is an Officer of the Executive Board.
Dr Jenny Butler is a Lecturer in the Study of Religions Department at 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'.