In memoriam: Reverend Professor Anthony J. Kelly CSsR

The University of Divinity community gives thanks to God for the life of Reverend Professor Anthony J. Kelly CSsR who died on 3 March 2024. Author of over 20 books, a theologian and poet, Tony Kelly was President of Yarra Theological Union from 1980-1985 and 1994-1997, President of the Melbourne College of Divinity from 1984-1985, and Head of the Sub-Faculty of Philosophy and Theology at Australian Catholic University from 1999-2004.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sherlock said “Tony Kelly was among the last of a generation of leaders who transformed Australian theological education in the 1970s and 1980s, not least in the development of an ecumenical curriculum of the highest academic standards at this institution. Current and future generations of our staff and students are deeply indebted to him, along with the whole theological community in this country.”

YTU President Reverend Dr Chris Monaghan said “Tony was an extraordinary contributor to the theological community in both Australia and internationally, his gift to many younger scholars through supervision and writing has been immense. It is said the reason we can see so far is because we are standing on the shoulders of giants – Tony has been a giant among us and we are all so much the richer for it.”

ATF Press

ATF Press mourns the death on 3rd March 2024 of Reverend Professor Anthony J Kelly CSsR.
ATF Press has had the honour to publish a number of volumes by Anthony over the last few years, the most recent of these being Meditations on Holy Week.

A Forum for Theology in the World – Volume 10 Issue 2

‘Athony Kelly’s research and writing through the years have been ceaseless. He has produced a stream of books, seeming one of those who has to have a manuscript on the go all the time in order to structure his life, not just intellectually but even psychologically and spiritually. He has always been an intellectual and spiritual pilgrim, and his books have been reports on where he is on the journey. This little book is no different as Tony moves through the later phase of his now long life.

One reason why his theological voice has been so engaging and incisive is that it rises from a broad and deep human culture. Tony doesn’t do theology in a vacuum. He is a poet and a painter as well as a theologian, which gives him an eloquence not granted to all scholars, showing that how something is said and what is said are more closely connected that is often thought. Tony’s beautiful prose has always been a way of disclosing his beautiful thought and ultimately the beauty of God to which St Alphonsus Liguori was deeply attuned as we see in a text like ‘Dio bello, Signor del Paradiso’.

In these meditations on Holy Week, Anthony J Kelly CSsR offers that kind of defamiliarisation, in order to see and understand Holy Weck, its events, its characters, its images, in new ways. As the meditations unfold, you can sense Fr Kelly’s own astonishment at what is happening and what it means; and into this astonishment he invites the reader. He leads us far beyond ‘just another Holy Week’ to a new experience of Holy Week, almost as if for the first time. The all too familiar appears in all its strangeness; and as it does a sense of astonishment emerges.’

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Brisbane

Anthony (Tony) Kelly, a priest of the Redemptorist Order, undertook doctoral and post-doctoral studies in Rome, Toronto and Paris. For many years he was involved in Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne, and was President of YTU for ten years. Formerly President of Australian Catholic Theological Association. Past Chair of the Forum of Australian Catholic Institutes of Theology. Tony was Head of Sub-Faculty of Philosophy and Theology at the Australian Catholic University from 1999 to 2004. In February 2004, Tony was appointed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the International
Theological Commission.

Buy your copy of Meditations on Holy Week
More works by Reverend Professor Anthony J Kelly CSsR are to be released in the near future.

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