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Home » Projects » The Interview Series » Father Demetrios Constantelos, Classicist and Theologian

Father Demetrios Constantelos, Classicist and Theologian

The Interview Series

Archbishop Demetrios of North America has described Professor Demetrios Constantelos as both a classicist and theologian. A renowned scholar and clergyman, he is revered for his passion and knowledge of Hellenic history and Christianity.

“As a scholar of early antiquity and early Christianity, I saw the relationship between the two. You can not understand early Christianity if you do not know the cultural background and especially the Greek language.” Professor Constantelos said. He added, “You can not simply take the bible out of context, and say this is Christianity, it’s much more than that. Theologians must really study history and the history of what we call the Hellenistic age or the Hellenistic civilization.”

Demetrios Constantelos hails from Spilia, a village in Greece’s Peloponnese where he lived through the German occupation and the loss of his two brothers. He arrived in the United States in 1947 on a scholarship that took him to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary. An author of numerous books, he made his mark with his book Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. Constantelos recently retired from Stockton University where he was a faculty member since its inception.

As a clergyman, he helped found three Greek Orthodox churches in South Jersey where he resides today. In 1995 he was instrumental in founding Hellenic Studies and the Friends of Hellenic Studies at Stockton. In 2003 the Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies was established at the college.

In July 2014 he donated some 3,000 of his works to The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where, in August, the room was dedicated as The Constantelos Hellenic Collection & Reading Room.