Alister E. McGrath, "A Manifesto for Intellectual Engagement: Reflections on Thomas F. Torrance's Theological Science (1969)," Participatio 7, Science, Epistemology, and Natural Theology (2017): 1-16
McGrath, Alister E. "A Manifesto for Intellectual Engagement: Reflections on Thomas F. Torrance's Theological Science (1969)." Participatio 7, Science, Epistemology, and Natural Theology (2017): 1-16.
Originally delivered as the keynote at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, with response by Greg Cootsona (#2017-GC-1).
This lecture was given to the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship at the 2016 meeting of the American Academy of Religion. It focuses on my own multiple readings of one of Torrance’s best-known works, Theological Science (1969), exploring its strategy for encouraging and informing intellectual engagement between theology and other disciplines, most notably the natural sciences. The lecture locates Theological Science within the context of Torrance’s overall theological project, and considers its distinct approach to theological rationality and its wider implications.
"So why is Torrance so significant? I suspect each of us here today would answer this question in slightly different ways, reflecting our own concerns and interests. It goes without saying, I think, that my own personal history and research agendas shape my particular response. I would like to give you four reasons for valuing him as a theologian, and I will be focusing on the fourth of these in my lecture this afternoon. The first reason is this: Torrance is an outstanding example of someone who consciously mediates the interpreted wisdom of the past. He is someone who is clearly nourished by the past, having appropriated and interpreted it in his own theological project."