Merv Duffy

Photo of Merv Duffy

Rev Dr Merv Duffy SM

BSc (hons)  (Victoria University, Wellington)
STB  (Mt St Mary’s Seminary, Hawkes Bay)
STL  (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome)
STD  (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome)

Lecturer in Theology


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

Research Interests:
Art and archaeology as a source for theology.
Ecclesiology of the early Marist missionaries in the Pacific.



Verguet’s Sketchbook: A Marist Missionary Artist in 1840s Oceania, Hindmarsh, SA: ATFPress, 2014. (Co-authored with Alois Greiler) Click here to buy

How Language, Ritual and Sacraments Work: According to John Austin, Jürgen Habermas and Louis-Marie Chauvet, Rome, 2005.

Chapter in Book:

The Work of Mary versus the Works of the Devil: The Ecclesiology of the Early Marist Missionaries”, 143-56, in Alois Greiler ed. Catholic Beginnings in Oceania: Marist Missionary Perspectives, Hindmarsh, Australia: ATF Press, 2009.

Refereed Articles:

“The Perils of Published Missionary Letters” in the International Bulletin of Mission Research January 2018

A Look at Medieval Confirmation” in Pastoral Liturgy, March-June 2017, vol 47, 2, 6-9.

How Europe began to picture Melanesians” in South Pacific Journal of Philosophy and Culture, 2013-2015, vol. 12, 16-28.

The Art of Theology: Mary as Bride of Christ” in Compass: A Review of Topical Theology 48:1, 2014, 39-44. (Co-authored with Mary Barker)

“The Dynamics of Tradition: Illustrated by the Magi”, in The Australian Ejournal of Theology, 2010.

“Religion, Mathematics and Nothing”, in The Journal of Faith and Science Exchange, 2000, 171-178

Non-Refereed Publications:

“Episcopal and Petrine Authority”, in Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland Newsletter 177, March 2014, 5-14.

Regular Liturgy Column in the Marist Messenger

Professional Activities:
Acting Principal at Good Shepherd College


2016 recipient of the John Dunmore Medal “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.”