The dogmatics lectures of T.F. Torrance : a critical edition with a commentary on their publication, background and place in the Torrance corpus
The purpose of the thesis was to edit for publication, with an accompanying commentary, the text of the Thomas F. Torrance (1913-2007) dogmatics lectures at New College, Edinburgh from 1952-78. The commentary examines their background in his early intellectual development (from upbringing to university graduation), focusing on his earliest lectures and publications (1938-42), memoirs, interviews and other biographical information. When seen against their formative background and in the light of his whole career, the lectures are opened up to illuminating new perspectives on their significance, originality, content and place in his theology. The commentary has four sections, a) on sources consulted and on Torrance’s general intellectual development and formation of theological goals, b) on the development of his views on the nature of rationality, including his early use of the ‘Christological analogy’ as the guiding analogy of Christian theology, c) on Torrance’s use and innovative development of the key concepts anhypostasis and enhypostasis, d) on the editing process with a full breakdown of the type and scale of the work involved. From the material uncovered, the commentary highlights three points as central conclusions: (i) the intrinsic unity of Torrance’s work and career, (ii) the constitutive importance of revelation in Jesus Christ for a proper view of reason, (iii) the pivotal centrality of positive dogmatics. Despite the seeming welter of criss-crossing interests, Torrance’s life has an intrinsic unity, centred on the gospel and on understanding the ontological grounds for faith. His concern for rationality stems from the nature of the gospel, the intelligible self-revelation of God in Christ engaging the whole human person in transformation and conformity to the mind of Christ. Throughout all he did, the gospel of Jesus Christ and its positive explication in ‘Trinitarian-Christocentric’ dogmatics remained the central and ultimate focus of Torrance’s life and work.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2021-06-01
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 1st June 2021