The Medieval Institute wishes a hearty congratulations to Professor C.J. Jones, Associate Professor of German and Medieval Institute Faculty Fellow, on having her new book, the first full-length English translation of Johannes Meyer’s Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens, selected as the Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index Translation of the Month. Feminae indexes over 500 journals and essay collections to identify academic works about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages. In addition to their indexing work, Feminae selects a significant article, translation, and image to highlight each month. Professor Jones's translation, Women’s History in the Age of Reformation: Johannes Meyer’s Chronicle of the Dominican Observance, makes Meyer's chronicle available in English for the first time and represents a significant step forward in our understanding of the role of women in the Observant Movement.
In writing his chronicle, Meyer (1422-1485) used an impressive array of sources to provide a positive account of the Observant Movement. In addition to her translation, Jones contextualized Meyer and his sources to provide a more objective historical background to the Observant reform in addition to her translation. Full details about the translations can be found on the publisher's website.
Professor 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. 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. 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.