Participants

A philosophical theologian, Alan J. Torrance holds the chair in systematic theology at the University of St. Andrews. He has worked extensively in the field of Christian doctrine and is also engaged in research and writing about issues of personhood and political reconciliation. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, where he went on to take a master's degree with honors in philosophy, and of the University of Aberdeen, where he earned a bachelor of divinity degree with honors, he received a doctorate in theology with highest honors from Germany's University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in 1994. Dr. Torrance is an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland and a violinist with a performer's diploma from the Royal College of Music, London, who has played professionally with the Scottish Baroque Ensemble and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has been a lecturer in historical theology at Aberdeen and held the chair of systematic theology for five years at Knox Theological Hall in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he taught as a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Otago. Returning to Britain in 1993 to become director of the Research Institute in Systematic Theology and a lecturer at King's College London (KCL), he was promoted to senior lecturer in 1996. Dr. Torrance spent a year as a senior research fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Erasmus Institute before being appointed to his present position at St. Andrews in 1999. Among many invited lectures, he delivered the Hensley Henson Lectures at Oxford University in 1998, the Didsbury Lectures at Nazarene Theological College in Manchester in 2009, and the first annual Colin Guton Lecture at KCL last month. He was the recipient of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to develop a major series of lectures on science and religion at St. Andrews. In addition to papers published in scholarly journals and in volumes of collected works, Dr. Torrance is the editor of four books, including, most recently, (with Marcus Bockmuehl) Scripture's Doctrine and Theology's Bible: How the New Testament Shapes Christian Dogmatics, which was published in 2008 by Baker Academic. He is also the author of two other books, Persons in Communion: An Essay on Trinitarian Description and Human Participation (1996), which focuses on possible solutions to issues dividing Protestant and Catholic academic theology, and The Theological Grounds for Advocating Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Sociopolitical Realm (2006), an exploration of what the Gospels have to offer contemporary readers about confronting evil and alienation in a world marked by rank divisions and war. He is completing a new book based on his Didsbury Lectures, which were a study of the rationality of Christian theism in relation to scientific naturalism and its uses in addressing contemporary social issues, for Wipf and Stock.