Sunday 2 December 2007

Thomas F. Torrance (1913-2007)

I’ve just heard the sad news that Thomas F. Torrance died today, 2 December 2007, at 2:45 am. Torrance’s work has profoundly shaped and influenced the contemporary theological landscape; Alister McGrath was right to describe him as “the greatest British theologian of the twentieth century.”

Torrance’s contributions to theology have included editing the English translation of Barth’s Church Dogmatics, founding the Scottish Journal of Theology, pioneering Reformed–Eastern Orthodox ecumenical dialogue, and authoring dozens of works on constructive theology. His most significant dogmatic works focused on the doctrine of the Trinity and on the relation between theology and science.

In an earlier post, Ray Anderson has spoken of Torrance’s deep personal faith – a faith which resonates through all his theological endeavours: “Born in China of Scottish missionary parents, Torrance was as comfortable talking about his personal relationship with Jesus as he was lecturing to an assembly of world class physicists.”


Anonymous said...

Friday was the feast day of St. Andrew - who is the patron saint of Greece as well as Scotland - and today Advent begins. So a time to die freighted with wonderful symbolism for the great man.

Torrance's beloved Barth also died during Advent. On the night Barth died (as Eberhard Busch records in his biography), he "had been writing a few sentences of the draft for his lecture in which he was saying that in the church it is always important to listen to the Fathers who have gone before in the faith. For 'God is not a God of the dead but of the living.' In him they all live." Amen.

Esteban Vázquez said...

I'm deeply, deeply saddened to learn of the death of T. F. Torrance, the father of us all. The giants keep fading away into eternity; what shall become of us now that they are among us no more? Would that we all, in the wake of so great a loss, set out to fulfill the program laid out in Goethe's Faust: "Was du ererbt von deinen Vaetern hast, Erwirb es um es zu besitzen"!

Strider said...

Tom Torrance was so very gracious to me. I began corresponding with him in the very early 80s, and he always wrote back. Always. He was very patient with my ignorant questions and was always encouraging. I drove up to Princeton on two occasions to visit him. Each time he spent a couple of hours with me.

It was a true blessing to have known him. He was a man of great theological depth; but more importantly, he was a man of great faith. He loved his Lord.

graham old said...

Wow. There are some people that you think will always be around.

Jim said...

Very sad. May the good man rest in well deserved peace.

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