de-coding the new 'church' language
Research Institute in Systematic Theology, 1988-2003

introducing Alan Torrance

Torrancealan Professor of systematic theology at knox theological hall, Dunedin, New Zealand (1987-1993). Senior lecturer in systematic theology at KCL (1993-1998). Professor of systematic theology at St. Andrew's, Scotland (1998-). Ordained minister of the church of scotland. Son of James Torrance, nephew of Tom Torrance and cousin to Iain Torrance. Author of Persons in communion (1996). Doctorate from university of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany in 1994. Director of the research institute in systematic theology, KCL (1994-1998). An expert on Karl Barth (wrote a paper on Barth's doctrine of the trinity for the Cambridge companion to Karl Barth. see also Persons in communion which is a monograph on Church Dogmatics 1/1) and John Zizioulas (Torrance has been fairly critical of Zizioulas' doctrine of the trinity). He has also written on diverse subjects, giving papers for conferences and/or books on harmful abuse, theology and gender, homosexuality, woman in ministry. He was the 1998 hensley henson lecturer in Oxford. A senior research fellow at the university of Notre Dame’s erasmus institute in 1998-1999, where he was working on the christian contribution to an open society. He was a committee member of the Society for the Study of Theology from 1995-1998. The inaugural Wadsworth Memorial Calvin Lecturer at Mcgill university, Montreal in 1999. 2009 Didsbury Lectures. Accomplished violinist who founded and leads the northern scottish philharmonic orchestra.

Selected Publications

_____'Forgiveness: the essential Socio-Political Structure of Personal Being', Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 56 (1986)
____' The Self-Relation, Narcissism and the Gospel of Grace', Scottish Journal of Theology 40 (1987) 481-510
____ 'Christian Experience and Divine Revelation in the Theologies of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Barth' in I. Howard Marshall (ed.), Christian Experience in Theology and Life (Rutherford House Press, 1988), pp. 83-113
____'Does God Suffer? Incarnation and Impassability' in Trevor Hart and Daniel Thimell (eds.), Christ in our Place: The Humanity of God in Christ for the Reconciliation of the World. Essays presented to James Torrance (Paternoster, 1989), pp.345-348
____'On the Theological Derivation of "Ought" from "Is"' in Religious Studies in Dialogue: Essays in Honour of Albert C. Moore, 195-204 (Otago University Press, 1991)
(ed.) with Hilary Regan, Christ and Context (T & T Clark, 1993)
____Persons in Communion: Trinitarian Description and Human Participation
 (T & T Clark, 1996)
____'Inclusive Ministry and the Logical Impossibility of Theological Inclusivisim, Pluralism and Relativism' in Douglas A. Campbell (ed.), The Call to Serve: Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Ministry (Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), pp. 256-268
____'Creatio Ex Nihilo and the Spatio-Temporal Dimensions, with special reference to Jurgen Moltmann and D. C. Williams' in Colin Gunton (ed.), The Doctrine of Creation (T & T Clark, 1997) pp.83-103
____'Theology and Political Correctness' in Andrew Walker and Lawrence Osborn (eds.), Harmful Religion (SPCK, 1997)
____'The Trinity' in John Webster (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth (Cambridge, 2000)
, pp.72-91
____'On Determining Whether Homosexuality Is To Be Endorsed Theologically' in More Than A Single Issue, pp.163-183, (eds.) Murray Rae & Graham Redding (2000, Australia Theological Forum)
____'Jesus in Christian Doctrine' in
Markus Bockmuehl (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Jesus (Cambridge, 2001), pp.200-219
____ 'Being of One Substance with the Father' in Nicene Christianity-the future for a new ecumenism (Brazos Press, 2001), 49-61
____'Is Love the Essence of God?' in Kevin Vanhoozer (ed.), Nothing Greater Nothing Better: Theological Essays on the Love of God (Eerdmans, 2001)
____'God, Personhood and Particularity: On Whether There Is, or Should Be, a Distinctive Male Theological Perspective' in Douglas A. Campbell  (ed.) Gospel and Gender: A Trinitarian Engagement with being Male and Female in Christ, (T & T Clark, 2003), pp.134-154
____''Call No Man Father!': The Trinity, Patriarchy and God-Talk' in Douglas A. Campbell (ed.) Gospel and Gender: A Trinitarian Engagement with being Male and Female in Christ, (T & T Clark, 2003), pp.179-197
____'Theism, Naturalism and Cognitive Science: Can the Academy make Sense of Itself?' in Science, Consciousness and Ultimate Reality, (ed.) David Lorimer (2004. Imprint Academic) pp.197-216,
____'What is a Person?' in Malcolm Alexander Jeeves (ed.) From Cells to Souls - and Beyond: Changing Portraits of Human Nature (Eerdmans, 2004), pp.199-222
____ 'Developments in Neuroscience and Human Freedom: Some Theological and Philosophical Questions', Science and Christian Belief, 16.2 (2004) 123-137
____ 'On whether forgiveness has boundaries" in W. Storrar and A. Morton (eds.), Public Theology for the 21st Century (T&T Clark, 2004) 303-313
____''Auditus Fidei': Where and How Does God Speak? Faith, Reason, and the Question of Criteria' in Paul Griffiths and Reinhard Hutter (eds.) Reason and the Reasons for Faith ( T & T Clark, 2005)
____(ed.) with Michael Banner, Theological Ethics and the Doctrine of God (T & T Clark, 2006)
____ 'On Deriving 'Ought' from 'Is': Christology, Covenant and 'Koinonia'" in The Doctrine of God and Theological Ethics (T & T Clark, 2006), 167-190
____The Theological Grounds for Advocating Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Sociopolitical Realm (Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland, 2006)
___ 'The Bible as Testimony to our Belonging: The Theological Vision of James B. Torrance' in Gerrit Scott Dawson (ed.), An Introduction to Torrance Theology: Discovering the Incarnate Saviour (T & T Clark, 2007), pp.103-120
___ (ed.) with Markus Bockmuehl, Scripture's doctrine and theology's Bible: how the New Testament shapes Christian Dogmatics (Baker, 2008)
___ 'Hermeneutics and the Homoousion' in Scripture's doctrine and theology's Bible: how the New Testament shapes Christian Dogmatics (Baker, 2008)
___ 'The Lazarus Narrative, Theological History, and Historical Probability' in Richard Bauckham and Carl Mosser (eds.), The Gospel of John and Christian Theology (Eerdmans, 2008)


Chris TerryNelson

I love Alan. I did a semester study-abroad program at St. Andrews in Scotland and took his class on the Theology of Karl Barth. He took me out for coffee and gave me sound advice about where to go to seminary (he suggested Princeton, which is where I am now). All this during a time when his wife was suffering from cancer . . . He's a wonderful man of God, not to mention a great scholar.

andy goodliff

thanks for stopping by chris. I'm looking to reading his hensley henson lectures when they published.

The comments to this entry are closed.