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
103 Decio Faculty Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Office Hours
M 4-5, T 12:30-2, 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 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 medieval 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 Dominican 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.

Jones is interested in liturgical ritual and communal song, because she herself is an enthusiastic singer of early music, especially polyphony. She has been a member of the Collegium Musicum, a small chamber choir with a focus on Renaissance and Baroque music, since she came to Notre Dame.

Jones has published numerous articles and essays on 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. She is the general editor of the series Medieval German Texts in Bilingual Editions.

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.