CJ Jones

William Payden Associate Professor of German
Faculty Fellow of the Medieval Institute, Faculty Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies

William Payden Associate Professor of German
106 Decio Faculty Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-2779
Office Hours
via Google Calendar



Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2012

M.A. Dartmouth College, 2006

B.A. Mount Holyoke College, 2005

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Religious cultures and religious reform
  • Gender and Christianity
  • Diverse and decentralized approaches to teaching the literatures and cultures of pre-modern Central Europe


CJ Jones is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on liturgy and religious women in medieval Germany. Jones’s research explores how women’s communities used liturgy to negotiate gendered and religious structures of authority and how liturgical practice afforded flexible opportunities for creating and performing communal identity.

Jones's forthcoming book, Fixing the Liturgy: Friars, Sisters, and the Dominican Rite, 1256-1516 (Penn Press), constructs a new history of the Dominican liturgy, told from the perspective of women's communities. Offering clear introductions to medieval liturgy and Dominican governance, the book illustrates how medieval Dominicans adapted their liturgy to the changing world around them. Using previously unstudied manuscripts, Jones reconstructs how Dominican sisters orchestrated the sounds, sights, and smells of women’s liturgy on the eve of the Protestant Reformation. Jones’s 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. Women’s History in the Age of Reformation (PIMS 2019) presents the first full-length English translation of Friar Johannes Meyer’s Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens, the most important source for the role of German nuns in late medieval religious reform.

Jones has published numerous articles and essays on broader aspects of religious culture and literature in late medieval Germany and has received research support from the DAAD, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Jones is interested in liturgical ritual and communal song as an enthusiastic singer of medieval and Renaissance music, especially polyphony. Since coming to Notre Dame, Jones has sung with the Collegium Musicum, a small chamber choir with a focus on Renaissance and Baroque music.

Representative Publications and Accomplishments

Ruling the Spirit: Women, Liturgy and Dominican Reform in Late Medieval Germany. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.

Women’s History in the Age of Reformation: Johannes Meyer’s Chronicle of the Dominican Observance. St Michael’s College Mediaeval Translations. Toronto: PIMS Publications, 2019.

“Religious Reform and Liturgical Change in the Fifteenth Century: Chant as Women’s Protest Music.” In Female-Voice Song in the Middle Ages, eds. Lisa Colten and Anna Kathryn Grau. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.

“Icon as Alter Ego? Husserl’s Fifth Cartesian Meditation and Icons of Mary in Chronicles of the Teutonic Order.” In Phenomenology to the Letter: Husserl and Literature. Eds. Philippe P. Haensler, Kristina Mendicino and Rochelle Tobias, 201-226. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021.

“Catherine of Siena as a Creative Impulse for the German Dominican Observance: The Vita, the Third Order, and the Liturgy.” In Kreative Impulse und Innovationsleistungen religiöser Gemeinschaften im mittelalterlichen Europa, eds. Julia Becker and Julia Burkhardt, 111-149. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2021.