- University of Notre Dame
- Assistant Professor
- Academic Concentration: Medieval Literature and Religious Culture in Germany
- Residential Fellow (2017-2018)
- "Washing the Altars: Shaping Religious Community in Medieval Holy Week Ritual"
Claire "CJ" Jones is Assistant Professor of German at the University of Notre Dame and specializes in literature and religious culture in late medieval Germany. Her research draws together mysticism, chronicles, devotional literature, statutes, and liturgy. Whereas her previous work has focused on German-language devotional and normative literature, her project at NDIAS is tentatively titled "Washing the Altars: Shaping Religious Community in Medieval Holy Week Ritual."
Her first book, Ruling the Spirit: Women, Liturgy and Dominican Reform in Late Medieval Germany, appeared with the University of Pennsylvania Press in October 2017. Her publications range in topic from Meister Eckhart’s language theory to the aesthetics of Byzantine reliquaries in German secular poetry and have appeared in such prestigious journals as Speculum, The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and The Journal of English and Germanic Philology.
Professor Jones’s research has previously been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto and by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Her dissertation, “Communal Song and the Theology of Voice in Medieval German Mysticism,” won the Women in German Dissertation Prize in 2013.
Ruling the Spirit
Women's History in the Age of Reformation
Women’s History in the Age of Reformation: Johannes Meyer’s Chronicle of the Dominican Observance
In his work The Book of the Reformation of the Order of Preachers, the Dominican friar Johannes Meyer (1422–1485) drew on letters, treatises, and other written records, as well as interviews, oral accounts, and his own personal experience, to record the blossoming of the Observant reform movement.
The result is this sprawling, eclectic, yet curiously intimate account of the men – but mostly of the women – who devoted their lives to revitalizing the Dominican order in southern Germany. With his reliance on their accounts and archives and respect for their intellectual abilities and spiritual resolve, Meyer’s treatment of medieval Dominican women provides a model from which today’s historians stand to learn.
The introduction contextualizes Meyer’s celebratory work within a more objective historical background; it is followed by a full translation, making this remarkable history available to English-speaking readers for the first time.