Rev. Dr. Demetrios Constantelos, Charles Cooper Townsend Sr. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies and Distinguished Scholar in Residence passed away on January 10, 2017.

Fr. Demetrios J. Constantelos was a retired priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He was a world-renowned scholar on Eastern Orthodoxy, Byzantium, modern Greek history, and Hellenistic philosophy. A Distinguished Research Scholar in Residence and the Charles Cooper Townsend Sr. Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies, Emeritus, at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Pomona, NJ.

He was born in Spilia, Messenia, Greece in 1927, the fifth child of Christine and Ioannis Constantelos. Following his graduation from the Gymnasium of Kyparissia, Greece, he was offered a scholarship to study at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, Massachusetts). Upon his graduation from the Theological School in 1951, he attended the University of Michigan. In 1954 he married Stella Croussouloudis of New York and Chios, and returned to Greece where he enrolled and attended courses at the School of Theology, University of Athens (1954-1955). Upon his return to the United States in May of 1955, he was ordained in July 1955 and assigned to St. Demetrios Church in Perth Amboy, NJ. During his diakonia at St. Demetrios (1955-1964) he pursued post-graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, (1957-1959), receiving a Th. M. in New Testament studies, and Rutgers University (1959-1964), receiving an M.A. in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1965 in the history of Byzantine Civilization. He received several scholarships, fellowships and honors including the Lane Cooper Fellowship and University Fellowship at Rutgers University, a Junior Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks of Harvard University, several grants, an honorary doctorate in theology by Hellenic College/Holy Cross and several distinctions from academic, professional and social organizations.

Since 1962, he was teaching at Rutgers University, Hellenic College, Boston College, New York University and the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey from 1971 to 1996. He lectured at several universities and colleges in the United States and before many professional, religious, academic and civic organizations. He read papers at International Congresses of Byzantine Studies, Conference on Medieval Studies, the Catholic Historical Association, American Historical Association, Society for Church History, the American Academy of Religion, the Modern Greek Studies Association, the Orthodox Theological Society of America, the Anglican-Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox-Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Consultations, and other organizations in the United States, and other countries in Spain, England, France, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Australia and Greece. Between 1955 and 1996, Rev. Constantelos served either as regular or visiting pastor at several communities in New England, New Jersey, and Maryland.

Fr. Demetrios J. Constantelos is awarded with the first Eleftheria medal at the Greek Independence Day Dinner in 2014 for his life long work dedicated to Hellenism and faith.

He has been a visiting lecturer in many communities of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, California, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana.

Dr. Constantelos was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies at Temple University and a member of the New Revised Standard Version Bible Committee of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. He had also received several academic, community and book awards from 1959 to 2002.

Interview with Fr. Demetrios J. Constantelos in 2015

Professor Constantelos was married to Stella Croussouloudis of New York City (✝ March 25, 2010) and was the father of four children: Christine, a graduate in Plant Science of Rutgers University; John, a graduate in Political Science and International Relations of Tufts University, Johns Hopkins University, and Duke University; Eleni, a literature graduate of Colgate University; and Maria, an educator, graduate of Bergen College, who also attended Ramapo College and Marymount College. He was blessed with six grandchildren. He resided in Linwood, New Jersey, USA.

Publications by Fr. Demetrios Constantelos include:

  • Christian Faith And Cultural Heritage: Essays from a Greek Orthodox Perspective
  • Renewing the Church: The Significance of the Council in Trullo
  • Paideia: Addresses to Young People
  • The Complete Works of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of North and South America 1959-1996
  • The Torchbearer: Encyclicals Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Subjects, Administration, Education, Culture
  • Understanding the Greek Orthodox Church: Its Faith, History and Life
    Christian Hellenism, Volume Three: Essays and Studies in Continuity and Change
  • The Greeks, Their Heritage, and Its Value Today
  • Poverty, Society and Philanthropy in the Late Mediaeval Greek World
  • Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare
  • Religious-Philosophical Issues and Interreligious Dialogues in the Orthodox Church Since World War II
  • Orthodox Theology and Diakonia: Trends and Prospects Essays in Honor of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday
  • Christian Hellenism: Essays and Studies in Continuity and Change (Hellenism: Ancient, Mediaeval Modern, 13) by Demetrios J. Constantelos