Thomas Forsyth Torrance, 94, a twentieth century Protestant Christian theologian who served for 27 years as professor of Christian Dogmatics at New College, Edinburgh in the University of Edinburgh, died December 2 in Edinburgh.
Torrance was born to Scottish missionary parents while they were serving in Chengdu, Szechuan, China. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and University of Oxford before receiving an academic scholarship to the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland. There, Torrance studied under theologian Karl Barth. Years later, Torrance translated into English Barth’s Church Dogmatics.
Torrance served as a professor at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City, but returned to Europe with the outbreak of World War II. He served as a chaplain during the war, and then after the war moved to Scotland and served as a Church of Scotland parish minister for a decade. Torrance was then offered a professorship at New College, Edinburgh in the University of Edinburgh to teach church history. He was later installed as professor of Christian Dogmatics, a position that he held from 1952 to 1979.
He was elected moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1976. His son Iain, now president of Princeton Theological Seminary, held the same post in 2003.
In 1978, Thomas Torrance won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for his contributions to theology and the relationship between it and science.
Further information on Torrance’s life, and plans for a memorial service will be posted as they become available.
-compiled by OUTLOOK staff