Publications

Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus: Sanctity and Community in the Seventh Century (Oxford University Press, 2018)

"Without spending a single apologetic word on the debate of the end of Late Antiquity, O'Hara has clearly shown that the seventh century is both interesting and relevant for anyone who wants to understand the late antique world." -- Erik Hermans, Journal of Late Antiquity


"There is a great deal that is valuable in O'Hara's book. It portrays the continuity of a type of monasticism and set of beliefs that reflects those of the earliest phase of Irish Christianity. These include the preference for an effort-based spirituality as opposed to the reliance on grace advocated by Augustine; a limited acceptance of miracles and relics; and an historically-based biblical exegesis. But most importantly, it portrays the strategies of a highly intelligent and resourceful hagiographer, who skillfully manages to preserve the legacy of a great spiritual figure despite attempts from within and without to destroy it." -- Michael Herren, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Rich with examples and insights, the book is scholarship of the highest order by an author in complete command of his subject ... The book will be valuable for those specializing in church history and medieval thought ... Highly recommended." --CHOICE

"An engaging study of a little-known figure, shedding new light on monasteries associated with Columbanus. In O'Hara's hands, Jonas of Bobbio emerges as a perceptive commentator on religion, politics, and culture in seventh-century Frankia, with particular interests in royal patronage and in the qualities necessary for effective monastic leadership." --Sarah Foot, University of Oxford

“Without spending a single apologetic word on the debate of the end of Late Antiquity, O’Hara has clearly shown that the seventh century is both interesting and relevant for anyone who wants to understand the late antique world.” — Erik Hermans, Journal of Late Antiquity

“There is a great deal that is valuable in O’Hara’s book. It portrays the continuity of a type of monasticism and set of beliefs that reflects those of the earliest phase of Irish Christianity. These include the preference for an effort-based spirituality as opposed to the reliance on grace advocated by Augustine; a limited acceptance of miracles and relics; and an historically-based biblical exegesis. But most importantly, it portrays the strategies of a highly intelligent and resourceful hagiographer, who skillfully manages to preserve the legacy of a great spiritual figure despite attempts from within and without to destroy it.” — Michael Herren, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“Rich with examples and insights, the book is scholarship of the highest order by an author in complete command of his subject … The book will be valuable for those specializing in church history and medieval thought … Highly recommended.” –CHOICE

“An engaging study of a little-known figure, shedding new light on monasteries associated with Columbanus. In O’Hara’s hands, Jonas of Bobbio emerges as a perceptive commentator on religion, politics, and culture in seventh-century Frankia, with particular interests in royal patronage and in the qualities necessary for effective monastic leadership.” –Sarah Foot, University of Oxford

Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018) 

“Each contribution is insightful and many offer valuable reassessments of the sources for Columbanus and his legacy in Western Europe; the volume as a whole is tightly edited and remarkably cohesive.” — Patrick Gleeson, Queen’s University Belfast, The Society for Medieval Archaeology

“Published with elegance and editorial accuracy … it represents an improvement not only for knowledge of the historical Columbanus and early medieval Irish history, but also for knowledge of those populations of post-Roman Europe that constitute, as the title announces, the non-negligible social, religious, and cultural background of monasticism in the tradition of Columbanus.” — Giovanni Alberto Cecconi, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“The authors have carefully and creatively teased out the well-known documents to deepen our understanding of this period. Many of the essays also reinforce and nuance ideas across multiple chapters […] Each essay also includes an up-to-date bibliography that will be invaluable to scholars wanting to explore these topics. This is an important volume of well-written essays that contribute much to the field and is highly recommended” — The Medieval Review

“In this wonderful collection of essays the reader travels with Columbanus through the Christian West, from Ireland to Brittany, from Northern Gaul to the Rhine, Bavaria, Alamannia, and Italy. Through the great Irishman’s encounters with secular and ecclesiastical elites, with various religious cultures, Roman traditions, post-Roman states and peoples, this volume illuminates the profound changes that characterize the transition from the ancient to the medieval world.” –Helmut Reimitz, Princeton University

“The book is rich in content, and innovative and comprehensive in its approach. Each contribution is accompanied by an up-to-date bibliography and manages to apply new conceptual tools to older problems of Columbanian scholarship. The reader will find much that is of general interest for the study of the period and will gain considerable insight into the dynamics of inter-group relationships during an important phase of European history.” — Carlo Cedro, History Ireland

Jonas of Bobbio: Life of Columbanus, Life of John of Réomé, and Life of Vedast (Liverpool University Press, 2017)

‘There is a richness to the material which O’Hara and Wood have done us a great service in making more accessible.’
Jamie Kreiner, The Medieval Review

‘This book is a timely and meaningful contribution to the scholarship on Merovingian Gaul. It is important not only for its accessible translation of a large and difficult corpus of works set against a complicated historical and textual background, but also for its clear synthesis of current scholarship. Finally, it elegantly succeeds in navigating the “Irish” vs. “Frankish” controversy, which seems to have reawakened of late.’
Yaniv Fox, Speculum

‘This very welcome new translation is also a highly sophisticated scholarly edition. It is particularly rich in bibliography, with an extensive listing of virtually all the secondary literature on Columban and his times.’
Terrence Kardong, American Benedictine Review

‘This very welcome addition to Liverpool University Press’s Translated Texts for Historians more than lives up to expectations for this esteemed book series […] Alexander O’Hara and Ian Wood’s volume will be an essential companion for its valuable introduction, detailed footnotes, half-dozen appendices, up-to-date bibliography, and, not least of all, high-quality translation of Jonas’s often challenging Latin. […] In sum, this is an important book, not only for the early medieval texts it makes available to a much wider potential readership but also for the exceptional scholarship that went into the presentation and translation of those texts.’
Westley Follett, Eolas: The Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies

‘Whatever the final outcome of contemporary debates about Columbanus, ‘Columbanian Monasticism’, and the influence of the Irish in continental Europe in the early Middle Ages, this volume will provide invaluable evidence (for both sides!) for many years to come.’

 Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Early Medieval Europe

‘The publication of an erudite, readable, and heavily annotated translation of Jonas of Bobbio’s hagiographical corpus is a cause for celebration. Although one of the recognized classics of seventh-century hagiography, Jonas’s Vita Columbani until now has not been available in an unabridged English translation, while the comparatively brief lives of John of Réomé and Vedast appear for the very first time in English. […] O’Hara and Wood thus have produced not only an invaluable teaching resource, but a significant contribution to the new wave of Columbanian studies.’
Gregory I. Halfond, The Mediæval Journal

Saint Columbanus: Selected Writings (Veritas, Dublin, 2015) with a foreword by Mary McAleese and Sean McDonagh

‘His love and humility shine through. . . A helpful introduction for all who wish to learn about this pioneering Irish saint.’ –Catholic Library World

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

My published journal articles and reviews can be accessed here: https://dahphd.academia.edu/AlexanderOHara