Mr. Saldarini, who had taught at Boston College since 1975, specialized in the Bible, in Judaism and the New Testament and in the relationships between early Judaism and early Christianity.
His many friends rallied about him during his prolonged illness, gathering for a Mass of Healing in St. Joseph's Chapel last September after he underwent a bone-marrow transplant, and conducting a campus blood drive on his behalf. One friend, Clint Huff, ran the Boston Marathon this past April to raise funds in his name for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Mr. Saldarini himself always lent a hand to those in need, friends said. "That's just the kind of rare person he is," colleague Prof. Donald Dietrich (Theology) said last fall. "He is always very busy with his scholarly work, but he literally always says yes when someone needs his help."
Mr. Saldarini was the author of several books, including Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society and Matthew's Christian-Jewish Community, as well as numerous articles and reviews.
He was active in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, the Association for Jewish Studies, the World Jewish Congress and the American Academy of Religion, and lectured on Second Temple Judaism, the New Testament and Jewish-Christian relations.
"Anthony was the embodiment of cura personalis, care for the person," Theology Department chairman Assoc. Prof. Stephen Pope told the Boston Globe. "He was [such] a good communicator and engaging speaker, students would want to change their majors to theology."
A Dorchester native, he earned advanced degrees from Weston College in Cambridge in 1966 and Yale University in 1970 before receiving his doctorate from Yale in 1971.
He leaves his wife of 23 years, Maureen (Cusack); and two sons, Daniel B. and Bryan B., both of Newtonville.
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