The Nature and Purpose of Reason in Christian Theology

Main Title

The Nature and Purpose of Reason in Christian Theology: The 1952 Exchange between Thomas F. Torrance and Brand Blanshard

Footnote

Alexander J. D. Irving, "The Nature and Purpose of Reason in Christian Theology: The 1952 Exchange between Thomas F. Torrance and Brand Blanshard," Theology in Scotland 25, 1 (2018): 19-34

Bibliography

Irving, Alexander J. D. "The Nature and Purpose of Reason in Christian Theology: The 1952 Exchange between Thomas F. Torrance and Brand Blanshard." Theology in Scotland 25, 1 (2018): 19-34

Abstract

T. F. Torrance’s 1952 exchange of letters with Brand Blanshard is an under-utilized resource in understanding Torrance’s view of the nature and purpose of reason in Christian theology. This essay argues that perspectives from earlier in Torrance’s thought (1938-1949) converge in these letters and traces how the position Torrance adopts on the nature and the purpose of reason against Blanshard develops in his mature thought. It is argued that there is a fundamental continuity in Torrance’s position on reason throughout his career. However, there is significant development in the epistemological and theological sophistication with which he holds these convictions. Reason for Torrance is subordinate to reality and its purpose is to facilitate the conforming of our mind to reality.