I have been watching this one for a few hours, and it has been slowly spreading through the blogosphere, but it seems that Thomas Torrance has died this morning at the age of 94. It was first reported here by a student at Edinburgh, who assures me that the news was broken through Prof Larry Hurtado of the Div School in an internal e-mail to the students and faculty. It has since been commented upon here, here and here. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no official, public announcement by any of the institutions in question. Such will likely be made both at Edinburgh and here at PTS sometime tomorrow.
My deepest condolences to the Torrance family.
Thomas F. Torrance was undoubtedly the greatest theologian working in the English language during the 20th century. Moreover, he was a major figure in Reformed-Orthodox ecumenical discussions, and make contributions to the interdisciplinary relationship between theology and science. Still, he is perhaps best known for spearheading the translation project of Barth’s Church Dogmatics with Geoffrey Bromily, and for his contributions to Reformed and Trinitarian dogmatic theology. On a more personal note, and as many readers of this blog know already, Torrance has been an important influence on my own theological thinking. I have spent this past semester on a research project dealing with aspects of his epistemology. This is the first time that a theologian to whom I have felt a real theological kinship has passed from the scene in my lifetime, and it is an odd feeling.
A biography of TF is available from the TF Torrance Theological Fellowship.
In honor of Torrance's passing, I will observe a week of posting silence here at DET. However, I will be updating this post below with links to other reactions - at least those which do not simply quote others - throughout the theological and theo-blogging community:
- Jason Goroncy
- Andy Goodliff
- Ben Myers
- George Hunsinger, guest posting at Faith&Theology and a revised version published by PTS
- Jim West
- Allan Bevere
- Stefan Green (in Swedish)
- Mark Stevens
- Ryan Penn at Reformed Catholicism
- Nick Norelli
- Edinburgh University Divinity School has a short comment
- Joshua at 'Treasures New and Old'
- Princeton Theological Seminary's official statement
- Titus Chung (PhD candidate at Edinburgh doing a dissertation on TFT), TF Torrance: A Remembrance from Asia
- Kendall Harmon
- Darren of Via Crucis
- Byron Smith
- T&T Clark
- The Bosque Boys
- Richard Schneberger, quoting the e-mail sent out by Gary Deddo - President of the TF Torrance Theological Fellowship
- Tribute from the Bishop of Edinburgh of the Scottish Episcopal church
- Church of Scotland
- Obituary for TF printed in The Herald
- Article in the Telegraph, fairly lengthy
- Article in The Independent
- Scottish Christian News Monitor
- Comments on the services held for TFT this past Saturday morning
- Richard Zuelch
- Michael L. Westmoreland-White of Levellers
- Presbyterian Weekly News
- Presbyweb includes a tribute written by Garrit Dawson
- Presbyterians Pro-Life