This book is a study both of Gildas’s use of the scriptures and of how, from the way he interprets sacred history, he created a distinctive theology of the church and of salvation.
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.
Thomas O'Loughlin is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham. His areas of interest are Patristic and Medieval Theology, History of Scriptural Interpretation, Early Church and Method in Historical Theology.
"(...) O'Loughlin's book is a major and welcome contribution to our knowledge of Gildas." (Michael Lapidge, in: Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, no. 66, Winter 2013, p. 99-100)
"In summary, Gildas and the scriptures is a substantial body of work in which the author demonstrates commendable commitment to onerous work. The focus which it places on the research carried out by the Beuron Institute to bring together, codify, and elucidate the diverse elements comprising the Vetus Latina is to be welcomed. Notwithstanding some flaws, O'Loughlin's work will make a considerable contribution to the growing corpus of Gildas -related scholarship." (Paul Byrne, in Peritia 26, 2015, p. 276-278)