Dr Alexander O’Hara FRHistS is an Irish historian of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages specialising in monastic history and theology, the medieval cult of the saints and medieval Latin literary culture. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. A Research Fellow in Historical Theology at the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin, he was a Fulbright and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Celtic Languages & Literatures, Harvard University (2021-2022).
A graduate of the University of St Andrews and Oxford University, he has held Research Fellowships at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, the University of St Andrews, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His research has been awarded funding from the Austrian Science Fund, the Norwegian Government, and the Carnegie Trust.
Dr O’Hara’s research focuses on the inter-relationship between monastic groups and secular elites in the Early Middle Ages, the transformation of the Frankish world in the seventh century, the cult of the saints in the Early and High Middle Ages, medieval hagiography and its manuscript transmission, the perception of Ireland and the Irish in medieval sources, and with the Irish monastic diaspora in Europe in the Middle Ages. Dr O’Hara’s current book project concerns the development of Irish ethnic identity and the changing perception of Ireland and the Irish from Antiquity to the English Conquest of Ireland.
He is the author of Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus: Sanctity and Community in the Seventh Century (Oxford University Press, 2018), editor of Columbanus and the Peoples of Post¬-Roman Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018), and translator of Jonas of Bobbio: Life of Columbanus, Life of John, and Life of Vedast (Liverpool University Press, 2017). He co-edited a collected volume on St Sunniva: Irish Queen, Norwegian Patron Saint (Bergen, 2021) on the medieval cult of the Irish saint Sunniva, patron of Bergen and Western Norway. His work has featured in The Irish Times, The Vienna Review, the BBC, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), and in leading international academic journals.
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