Theologian Torrence, a Templeton winner, dies

December 25, 2007

Thomas F. Torrance, 94, a Reformed theologian who was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1978, died in Edinburgh December 2.

Torrance taught Christian dogmatics for 17 years at New College and was elected moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly in 1976.

He is the father of Iain Torrance, the current president of Princeton Theological Seminary. The senior Torrance was a friend of James McCord, a former Princeton seminary president, and was part of a group that founded the Center for Theological Inquiry on the New Jersey campus.

“In theology he generally placed himself somewhere between Calvin and Barth, though also moving well beyond them,” said George Hunsinger of the Princeton seminary faculty.

An accomplished patristics scholar, Torrance devoted himself to Eastern Orthodox–Reformed dialogue, and “his interest in Einstein and modern physics from the standpoint of Nicene Christianity has yet to be adequately assessed,” said Hunsinger.

“English-speaking theology stands greatly in his debt for his monumental efforts in editing and translating not only Calvin’s New Testament commentaries but also Barth’s voluminous dogmatics,” he said.

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