B.A., B.D., M.Phil., Ph.D., D.D., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S., F.S.A.Scot
Born in Dublin, Professor Thomas O’Loughlin began his life in universities when he did a B.A. in philosophy and medieval history in University College Dublin. Immediately after that he began work on his B.D. in theology from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. By this stage he knew he wanted to do research in early medieval thought, and did an M. Phil. in medieval studies concentrating on the cultural influences on the thought of Plotinus and Augustine. During the time he was doing the M.Phil. he became increasingly aware of the need to be skilled in languages of late antiquity and in palaeography – and entering the world of manuscripts was, though he did not realize it at the time, going to be a major step in his way of looking at the world, while at the same time his interests were moving ever more towards historical theology. Despite the fact that historical theology tends to look at the distant past, it is one of the younger theological disciplines – when he was an undergraduate it was still fashionable in some quarters to dismiss it as little more than ‘context of’ or noise in an ‘unchanging’ body of doctrines – and, therefore, one of the more exciting approaches to take in the study of Christianity.