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.


2015, L.M.S. (License in Mediaeval Studies), Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, Canada
2012, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2006, M.A. in Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
2005, B.A. in European Studies and Music History, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA


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. Toronto: PIMS Publications, 2019.

Refereed Journal Articles
“Relics and the Anxiety of Exposure in Konrad von Würzburg’s Herzmaere.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 116, no. 3 (2017): 286-309.
“Hostia jubilationis: Psalm Citation, Eucharistic Prayer, and Mystical Union in Gertrude of Helfta’s Exercitia Spiritualia.” Speculum 89, no. 4 (2014): 1005-1039.
“Christian Listening and the Ethical Community of Liturgical Text.” Literature & Theology 27, no. 2 (2013): 227-239.
“Rekindling the Light of Faith: Hymn Translation and Spiritual Renewal in the Fifteenth-Century Observant Reform.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 42, no. 3 (2012): 567-596.
“Prelude to the New World: The Role of Voice in Early Pennsylvanian Mysticism.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 44, no. 3 (2011): 331-343.
“The Trouble with Verbs: Meister Eckhart and the Tropology of Modistic Grammar.” Mystics Quarterly 35, no. 3/4 (2009): 99-126.

Refereed Chapters in Edited Volumes
“Writing History to Make History: Johannes Meyer’s Chronicles of Reform.” In Medieval Cantors and their Craft: Music, Liturgy and the Shaping of History, edited by Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis, A.B. Kraebel and Margot E. Fassler, 340-356. York: York Medieval Press, 2017.
“Liturgy and the Performance of the Mystical Self.” In Women’s Lives: Self-representation, Reception, and Appropriation in the Middle Ages, edited by Nahir I. Otaño Gracia and Daniel Armenti. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, forthcoming. Revision submitted to editors.

Women’s History in the Age of Reformation: Johannes Meyer’s Chronicle of the Dominican Observance. Under advance contract, under review. 110,000 words.
“Würzburg.” Translator for Horst Brunner. In Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418, edited by David Wallace, 2 vols, 582-588. Oxford: OUP, 2015.

Non-refereed Publications (Medieval Studies)
“Zu den Visionen aus der Lux divinitatis in der Dominikus-Vita Dietrichs von Apolda.” In Mauerfälle der Mystik. Eine Spurensuche zu Mechthild (von Magdeburg) und zum “Fließenden Licht der Gottheit” in religiösen Netzwerken, Ordenslandschaften und literarischen Diskursen im mitteldeutschen Raum des 13. Jhs. Eds. Caroline Emmelius and Balázs J. Nemes. Berlin: Erich Schmidt. Invited essay. Revision submitted to editors.
“Herzmaere.” In Konrad von Würzburg. Ein Handbuch. Ed. Markus Stock. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Invited handbook article. Submitted to editor.

Non-refereed Publications (Pedagogy)
“Three Nightmares: Student Short Stories Inspired by Das Doppelte Lottchen.” In andererseits, forthcoming. Pedagogical publication with student work. Submitted to editors.

Book Reviews
Lydia Wegener, Der ‚Frankfurter‘ / ‚Theologia Deutsch‘. Spielräume und Grenzen des Sagbaren. In Medieval Mystical Theology 26, no. 2 (2017). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20465726.2017.1403662
Engler, Claudia, Regelbuch und Observanz. Der Codex A 53 der Burgerbibliothek Bern als Reformprogramm des Johannes Meyer für die Berner Dominikanerinnen. In Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur, forthcoming.
Sara Poor and Nigel Smith, eds., Mysticism and Reform (1400-1750). In Monatshefte 108, no. 3 (2016): 409-411.
William Layher and Ingrid Bennewitz, eds., ‘der âventiuren dôn’: Klang, Hören und Hörgemeinschaften in der deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters. In Seminar 52, 2 (2016): 245-247.
Virginia Blanton, Veronica O’Mara and Patricia Stoop, eds., Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Hull Dialogue. In Medieval Femininst Forum 50, no. 1 (2014): 157-159. http://ir.uiowa.edu/mff/vol50/iss1/17.
Patricia Dailey, Promised Bodies: Time, Language, and Corporeality in Medieval Women’s Mystical Texts. In The Medieval Review, March 18, 2014. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/17409/14.03.18.html.
Ben Morgan, On Becoming God: Late Medieval Mysticism and the Modern Western Self. In Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 40, no. 1 (2014): 108-112.
Judith Theben, Die mystische Lyrik des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts: Untersuchungen – Texte – Repertorium. In Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 39, no. 1 (2013): 106-111.

Blog Posts


    Second book project
    Tentative title: Washing the Altars: Law, Performance, and Piety in the medieval Dominican Order. Focusing on the ceremonies for Holy Thursday as a test case, this project expands on my first monograph, considering late medieval Dominican reform and piety in treatises, legislation, and liturgical manuscripts.

    Third book project
    The Teutonic Knights. I am preparing to research this military order that governed a religious state on the Baltic Coast during the late Middle Ages. Here, too, I am interested in the construction of religious identity in the interplay between statutes and legislation, liturgical ritual, and vernacular history-writing.


    German Studies Association (GSA)
    Medieval Academy of America (MAA)
    Modern Language Association (MLA)
    American Academy of Religion (AAR)
    Coalition of Women in German (WiG)
    Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS)
    Young Medievalist Germanists in North America (YMAGINA)

    Claire Taylor Jones

    Profile picture of Claire Taylor Jones


    Active 11 months ago