Another Chance to Hear me Speak: My upcoming AAR / TFT TF lecture on Torrance's criticism of Barth's doctrine of Baptism

Those in the St. Louis area will have the opportunity of hearing me speak tomorrow night on the Christian doctrine of happiness (information here), but - and as observant readers of the program for the American Academy of Religion's national meeting will undoubtedly have already noticed - I'm also slotted to give a paper on Friday afternoon to the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. The TFT TF has a nice write-up of the meeting on their website, and I invite you to print out a dozen copies and spread it around. :-)

But I wanted to give everyone a better idea of what to expect from that paper, and - perhaps - to drum up some more interest. I would love to see you there if you can attend, and I'm very excited to have had this chance to return to Torrance's thought. This paper also builds upon and extends the analysis of Barth's doctrine of baptism that I undertook in my book and the paper that I delivered to the Karl Barth Society of North America at their AAR meeting in 2013 (subsequently published in IJST). So, here are the vital statistics:

Friday, November 20th, 2015
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm,
in the Hyatt-Hanover D (Exhibit Level) room

“Actualism, Dualism, and Onto-Relations: Interrogating Torrance’s Criticism of Barth’s Doctrine of Baptism.”

Abstract: Thomas F. Torrance criticized Karl Barth’s doctrine of baptism in Church Dogmatics 4.4, claiming that it exhibited an improper dualism. This essay explicates Torrance’s criticism as both a criticism that arises from Torrance’s own theological commitments and as a criticism of Barth’s doctrine of baptism. It does so by working through a series of four heuristic questions. First, what does Torrance mean when he accuses Barth of baptismal dualism? Second, why did Torrance think that Barth had lapsed into such a dualism? Third, what was Torrance’s alternative to Barth’s alleged baptismal dualism? Fourth, was Torrance right in his criticism of Barth? The essay concludes by reflecting on the question: where lies the disconnect between Barth and Torrance?

(Of course, TFT has been a topic of reflection here at DET before. Most recently: T. F. Torrance on Karl Barth and “the temptation of orthodoxy”. Most famously: Why I Think…Ben Myers Isn’t Quite Right About TF Torrance.)



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