Torrance, Thomas F. 1913-2007 (T.F. Torrance, Thomas Forsyth Torrance)

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Torrance, Thomas F. 1913-2007 (T.F. Torrance, Thomas Forsyth Torrance)


See index for CA sketch: Born August 30, 1913, in Chengdu, Sichuan, China; died December 2, 2007. Theologian, minister, educator, editor, and author. Torrance, the son of British missionaries to China, was a professor of Christian dogmatics (dogmatics being the study of dogmas, or established beliefs not open to question) whose provocative attempts to redefine theology as a scientific discipline occupied much of his career. In 1950, after a few years as a minister in Aberdeen, Scotland, he accepted a position at the University of Edinburgh, where he spent nearly thirty years. He was also the founding coeditor of the Scottish Journal of Theology from 1948 to 1982. In addition to promoting the work of Swiss theologian Karl Barth, Torrance also expounded his own strong views on theology as science, two subjects that he found complementary rather than contradictory. While Scottish theologians seemed at best puzzled by Torrance's thesis, and at worst outspokenly opposed, his work was more likely to be tolerated or even appreciated by members of the scientific community who were also interested in the relationship between science and religion. Torrance lectured to like-minded audiences around the world, including the United States, earning an honorary doctorate in science from Heriot-Watt University. Though his theology placed him outside the inner circle of Scottish theologians, his significance to their shared field was acknowledged by several honorary doctorates of divinity, in addition to the theology degree he had earned through his studies. Torrance wrote more than thirty books and edited nearly as many. He once told CA that he included among his "main books" Theological Science (1969), The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (1988), and The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being, Three Writings (1996). He also wrote Space, Time, and Incarnation (1997) and The Ground and Grammar of Theology: Consonance between Theology and Science (2001).



McGrath, Alister E., T.F. Torrance: An Intellectual Biography, T & T Clark (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2006.


Times (London, England), December 11, 2007, p. 53.