The 2017 T. F. Torrance keynote lecture:
Jason Radcliff, Ph. D. (The University of Edinburgh)
"The Patristic Foundations of the Reformed-Orthodox Ecumenical Dialogue."
Friday, November 17 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Room 109 at the Hynes Convention Center, in conjunction with the AAR/SBL meetings in Boston, MA:
1:00 pm - Business Meeting for all members
1:40 pm - Annual Lecture by Jason Radcliff (abstract below)
2:45 pm - Question and Answer
See session number P17-232 in your AAR/SBL program guide (schedule at a glance).
The T.F. Torrance Theological Fellowship is a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion. Annual meetings take place on the Friday afternoon before start of the AAR annual meeting. The TFT Fellowship annual meeting typically lasts from 1 to 4 pm, including a 1/2 hour business meeting, followed by the annual lecture and discussion.
Past meetings: presentations, minutes, media.
President's letter: Thomas A. Noble
2017 Publications Report: Paul Molnar
Web forms: Web Survey form; Member Profile form; Publication form; Explanatory handout.
Building upon his Thomas F. Torrance and the Church Fathers (Wipf & Stock, 2014) and presenting ideas and arguments found in his forthcoming Thomas F. Torrance and the Reformed-Orthodox Dialogue (Wipf & Stock, forthcoming 2018), this paper presents a critical examination of the Reformed-Orthodox Ecumenical Dialogue spearheaded by T. F. Torrance in the late 1980s. Focusing upon the Patristic foundations of the Dialogue as seen in Torrance as well as the theological outcome of the Dialogue, The Agreed Statement on the Holy Trinity, this paper also highlights some of the notable conversations about Patristic Theology, inter alia, that went on "behind the scenes" of the Dialogue as seen in the unpublished Official Minutes as well as correspondence between Torrance and other major figures, namely George Dragas, Methodios Fouyas, and the Archbishop of Constantinople himself about such topics such as the Athanasian Doctrine of the Trinity, Barthian Christocentrism, and John Zizioulas. The paper introduces and critically examines the Patristic foundations of the Dialogue, suggests areas where the Dialogue may say more about the Trinitarian issues of the 1980s than the 380s, and ultimately argues that the incredible ecumenical agreement and conclusions at the Dialogue between Orthodox and Reformed Churches on the basis of the Trinitarian and Christocentric theology of the Greek Fathers deserves a much stronger consideration in the conversations theologians and historians are having about the Doctrine of the Trinity today.
Dr. Radcliff will be referring particularly to the "Agreed Statement on The Holy Trinity", which may also be found as Chapter 10 of Volume 2 of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and Reformed Churches (1993).
Jason R. Radcliff, Thomas F. Torrance and the Church Fathers: A Reformed, Evangelical, and Ecumenical Reconstruction of the Patristic Tradition (Pickwick Publications, 2014). Amazon.
- "This remarkably well-researched, balanced, and clearly written book is a presentation and review of Torrance's imaginative reconstruction of the theology of the Greek Fathers in view of evangelical theology. In particular, Radcliff rightly highlights Torrance's reading of Athanasius of Alexandria and his doctrine of the homoousios. Not without insightful criticisms of Torrance, Radcliff's stance is strongly appreciative. I recommend this study for both seasoned Torrance students and those who come new to his work.'' --Andrew Purves, Jean and Nancy Davis Professor of Historical Theology, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA.
- "Dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and the Reformed Protestant traditions was central to the life and work of T. F. Torrance. Jason Radcliff has now produced a much-needed overview of his extensive and intensive efforts in this area. Radcliff has a sure grasp not only of Torrance himself, but also of the patristic sources he engaged. Radcliff also delves thoughtfully into current patristic scholarship in order to support and critique Torrance's work. This is a judicious and careful piece of scholarship--one that is full of promise for the future of ecumenical theology.'' --George Hunsinger, Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ.
- "T. F. Torrance's theology developed in large measure through conversation with the early church fathers, especially Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, and Gregory Nazienzen. As such, his theology provides an exercise both in retrieval and creative appropriation. Jason Radcliff's study now offers an invaluable commentary on this reading of early church thought. It is a welcome and significant contribution to the growing literature on Torrance.'' --David Fergusson, Professor of Divinity and Principal of New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland --Wipf and Stock Publishers.