Gildas is the earliest insular writer who has left us a substantial legacy of theological writing. He is usually, however, not seen as a theological writer but as an historical source for ‘dark age’ Britain at the time of the Germanic invasions in the mid-sixth century. Yet the deacon Gildas saw himself as a prophet charged by God to call the rulers and clergy of his society back to being a chosen people of the covenant. The form this call took was that of an indictment of those groups based on the testimonia of the Christian scriptures. This book is a study both of Gildas’s use of the scriptures (his text, his canon, his exegetical strategies) and of how, from the way he interprets sacred history, he created a distinctive theology of the church and of salvation.
Contributions to journals
O'Loughlin, Thomas, “The so-called capitula for the Book of the Apocalypse in the Book of Armagh (Dublin, Trinity College, 52) and Latin exegesis”, in: Moran, Pádraic, and Immo Warntjes (eds), Early medieval Ireland and Europe: chronology, contacts, scholarship. A Festschrift for Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 14, Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. 405–423.
In the Book of Armagh, on f 159v, we find a lozenge of text which suggests a division system for the text of the New Testament’s Book of the Apocalypse. This short text, which is also found in the Metz Bible, identifies fourteen moments in the Apocalypse in a manner very similar to the way a set of capitula identifies passages within a text while dividing it into sections-and this text has traditionally been studied as one more set of textual divisions for this biblical book. However, closer examination of the text, combined with a comparison with other sets of capitula from biblical codices and summaries in exegetical handbooks suggest this text neither sections the book efficiently nor does it provide an introduction to its content. Rather, the numbered list of items proceeds visually through the book, offering the reader a guide to imagining the visions directly while knowing the narrative account of those visions is to be found in the biblical book’s text.
O'Loughlin, Thomas, “The biblical text of the Book of Deer (C.U.L. Ii.6.32): evidence for the remains of a division system from its manuscript ancestry; Appendix: A concordance of the display initials of the Book of Deer with the Ammonian sections / Eusebian canons”, in: Forsythe, Katherine (ed.), Studies on the Book of Deer, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008. 3–31 (with appendix).
Thomas O'Loughlin, “Adomnán, St”, in: John T. Koch (ed.), Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia (2006): 12–13.
Thomas O'Loughlin, “Cáin Adomnáin”, in: John T. Koch (ed.), Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia (2006): 327.
O'Loughlin, Thomas, “Tradition and exegesis in the eighth century: the use of patristic sources in early medieval scriptural commentaries”, in: O'Loughlin, Thomas [ed.], The Scriptures and early medieval Ireland: proceedings of the 1993 Conference of the Society for Hiberno-Latin Studies on Early Irish Exegesis and Homilectics, Instrumenta Patristica 31, Steenbrugge, Turnhout: In Abbatia S. Petri; Brepols, 1999. 217–239.
O'Loughlin, Thomas, “Biblical contradictions in the Periphyseon and the development of Eriugena’s method”, in: Riel, Gerd van, Carlos Steel, and James J. McEvoy (eds), Johannes Scottus Eriugena. The Bible and hermeneutics. Proceedings of the Ninth International Colloquium of the Society for the Promotion of Eriugenian Studies held at Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve, June 7–10, 1995, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 1.20, Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1996. 103–126.