Haley Petersen

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Haley Petersen

Area of Focus: Asian Religions (Japanese Religion)


B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill

Research Interests

  • Religions in Japan
  • Shinto
  • Folk Traditions
  • Gender and Religion
  • Japanese New Religious Movements
  • Spiritualism in Japan

Professional Biography

Haley Petersen is a graduate student in the field of Asian Religions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her primary research focuses on religions in Japan, including issues in Shinto; folk traditions; new religious movements; spiritualism; folklore and literary studies; gender and religion; and bodily expression through ritual and performance.

Before entering the graduate program in UNC’s Department of Religious Studies, Haley obtained her B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill as a double major in Religious Studies and Asian Studies. She also completed an undergraduate thesis entitled “HERpetology: Gender, Power, and Snake Transformation in Edo Period Japan,” which examines gender roles and bodily transformation in traditional Japanese culture, folklore, and religious history.