Forthcoming Publications

During her lifetime Jennifer O’Reilly was urged by her students and fellow scholars to collect her scattered essays for interested readers, but she did not live to do so.

When she died in 2016, Dr O’Reilly left behind a body of published work in three areas of medieval studies: the writings of Bede and his older Irish contemporary, Adomnán of Iona; the early lives of Thomas Becket; and the iconography of the Gospel Books produced in early medieval Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England. In these three areas she explored the connections between historical texts, artistic images and biblical exegesis. The aim of the three volumes, to be published simultaneously in 2019, is to realise that ambition. Seen together, the essays gathered in these books highlight her distinctive approach to historical sources, and her substantial contribution to our understanding of England and Ireland in the Middle Ages.


Link to publisher's website.

  • History, Hagiography and Biblical Exegesis: Essays on Bede, Adomnán and Thomas Becket, eds. Diarmuid Scully, Tom O’Reilly and Máirín MacCarron (Routledge: Variorum, 2019)

Table of contents


1. Introduction to On the Temple

2. Islands and idols at the ends of the earth: exegesis and conversion in Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica

3. Bede on seeing the God of gods in Zion

4. The multitude of isles and the corner-stone: topography, exegesis and the identity of the Angli in Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica

5. St Paul and the sign of Jonah. Theology and Scripture in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica

6. Bede and Monothelitism

7. The image of the Mediator in the work of Bede


8. Reading the scriptures in the life of Columba

9. The wisdom of the scribe and the fear of the Lord in the Life of St Columba

10. Adomnán and the art of teaching spiritual sons

11. Columba at Clonmacnoise

12. The Bible as map, on seeing God and finding the way: pilgrimage and exegesis in Adomnán and Bede

Thomas Becket

13. Candidus et rubicundus: an image of martyrdom in the lives of Thomas Becket

14. The double martyrdom of Thomas Becket: hagiography or history?



Link to publisher's website

  • Early Medieval Text and Image: The Insular Gospel Books, eds. Carol Farr and Elizabeth Mullins (Routledge: Variorum, 2019)

Table of contents

Insular Gospel Books

1. Early medieval text and image: the wounded and exalted Christ

2. The Hiberno-Latin tradition of the Evangelists and the gospels of Máel Brigte

3. Gospel harmony and the names of Christ in Insular gospel books

4. Patristic and Insular traditions of the Evangelists: exegesis and iconography

5. “Know who and what he is”: the context and inscriptions of the Durham Gospels Crucifixion image

6. The image of orthodoxy, the mysterium Christi and Insular Gospel books

7. St John the Evangelist: between two worlds

8. Seeing the crucified Christ: image and meaning in early Irish manuscript art

9. The St Gall Gospels: art and iconography



Link to publisher's website.

  •  Early Medieval Text and Image: The Codex Amiatinus, the Book of Kells and Anglo-Saxon Art, eds. Carol Farr and Elizabeth Mullins (Routledge: Variorum, 2019)

    Table of contents

    The Book of Kells

    1. The Book of Kells, folio 114: a mystery revealed yet concealed

    2. The Book of Kells and two Breton gospel books

    3. Exegesis and the Book of Kells: the Lucan genealogy

    4. Entry on the Book of Kells, folios 29 and 34

    5. Two pages from the Book of Kells

    6. The Book of Kells, folio 114

    7. The body of Christ in the Book of Kells


      The Codex Amiatinus

      8. The library of Scripture: views from Vivarium and Wearmouth-Jarrow

      9. Celtic art and the Gospel

      10. The art of authority

      11. “All that Peter stands for”: the romanitas of the Codex Amiatinus reconsidered


        The Anglo-Saxon and Later English Traditions

        12. An Anglo-Saxon portable altar: inscription and iconography

        13. St John as a figure of the contemplative life

        14. The rough-hewn cross in Anglo-Saxon art

        15. Text and image in Anglo-Saxon Benedictine reform

        16. Signs of the Cross

        17. The medieval iconography of the two trees in Eden


        School of History

        Scoil na Staire

        Tyrconnell,Off College Road,Cork,Ireland.