Dr Mervyn Duffy

Lecturer in Theology & Acting Principal of Good Shepherd College, Catholic Institute of Sydney
BSc (hons) (Wellington, NZ) STB (Hawkes Bay, NZ) STL (Rome) STD (Rome)

Dr Mervyn Duffy is a Marist priest from Christchurch, ordained in 1985. While studying for priesthood he completed a degree in Mathematics at Victoria University of Wellington. He taught Mathematics, Computing and Religious Education at secondary level, principally at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, and Pompallier College in Whangarei. Mervyn was one of the group of teachers involved in the writing of textbooks for the ‘Understanding Faith’ religious education syllabus. He participated in the expert panels for the writing of Unit Standards and Assessment materials for Religious Education. For three years he was employed by the Qualifications Authority as the National Moderator for Religious Education. Subsequently, he spent four years in Rome studying for the license and then doctorate in systematic theology.

Areas of Interest

  • Art and archaeology as a source for theology
  • Ecclesiology of the early Marist missionaries in the Pacific
  • Systematic theology

Research Strengths

  • Pacific mission studies


Dr Mervyn Duffy is the 2016 recipient of the John Dunmore Medal. The award recognises his research and publications contributing to the knowledge of the early Marist missionaries in the Pacific. The John Dunmore Medal is awarded annually in recognition of major contributions to knowledge and better understanding of the part played by the French people and French culture in the scientific, economic, historical and cultural development of the Pacific.



2014 Verguet’s Sketchbook: A Marist Missionary Artist in 1840s Oceania
Hindmarsh, SA: ATFPress, 2014. (Co-authored with Alois Greiler)
2005 How Language, Ritual and Sacraments Work: According to John Austin, Jürgen Habermas and Louis-Marie Chauvet
Editrice Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, Rome 2005

Book Chapters and Refereed Articles

2018 The Perils of Published Missionary Letters
In the International Bulletin of Mission Research January 2018
2017 A Look at Medieval Confirmation
In Pastoral Liturgy, March-June 2017, vol 47, 2, 6-9
2015 How Europe began to picture Melanesians
In South Pacific Journal of Philosophy and Culture, 2013-2015, vol. 12, 16-28
2009 The Work of Mary versus the Works of the Devil: The Ecclesiology of the Early Marist Missionaries
In Alois Greiler ed. Catholic Beginnings in Oceania: Marist Missionary Perspectives, Hindmarsh, Australia: ATF Press, 2009 143-56

A limited number of publications are listed here.

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