CJ (Claire Taylor) Jones
William Payden Associate Professor of German
Discipline(s): Germanic Languages and Literatures, Liturgy, Religion
Department: German and Russian Languages and Literatures
CJ Jones is an interdisciplinary scholar based in German studies. Her research focuses on the reform of religious orders in late medieval Germany. Her first book, Ruling the Spirit (Penn Press 2018), reexamines the mystical literature of the Dominican order, arguing that strict adherence to the order’s rule was considered a source of—not an impediment to—spiritual experience. Her second book, Women’s History in the Age of Reformation (PIMS 2019), presents the first full-length English translation of Johannes Meyer’s Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens, the most important source for the role of German nuns in late medieval religious reform. Jones’s current research explores how communities used liturgy to negotiate gendered and religious structures of power and authority and how liturgical practice afforded flexible opportunities for creating and performing communal identity. In addition to Latin liturgical manuscripts, she examines German-language liturgical documents, such as ordinals, ceremonials, and chantresses’ handbooks. Her book project concerns the Dominican order’s ceremony for washing the altars on Holy Thursday, especially the practical problems it caused for reform initiatives and women’s enclosure. Jones has published numerous articles and essays on broader aspects of religious culture and literature in late medieval Germany. Her research has been supported by the DAAD, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.