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T. F. Torrance, Catholicism, and the quest for church unity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2023

Stanley Maclean*
Affiliation:
Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea

Abstract

This article examines T. F. Torrance's engagement with Catholicism. It uncovers the breadth and depth of his ecumenical spirit, while concurrently shedding light on his own theological development. The article reveals an evolution in Torrance's posture toward Catholicism, moving from fierce criticism to critical praise, with the Second Vatican Council as a watershed in his thinking. His criticism was provoked by what he considered the fundamental problem with Catholicism (namely, the ‘Latin heresy’ in its theology); while his praise was elicited by the evangelical, christocentric, and ecumenical spirit of the Council.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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References

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9 Ibid., p. 153.

10 Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November 1950, §24 <https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus.html>; accessed 6 February 2023.

11 Ibid.

12 ‘Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est.’ Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium 4.3.

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16 The Catechism of St Pius X <http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/pius/psacr00.htm>; accessed 6 February 2023.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 Torrance, ‘The Roman Doctrine of Grace from the Point of View of Reformed Theology’, in Thomas F. Torrance, Theology in Reconstruction (London: SCM Press, 1965), pp. 169–90.

20 Torrance, ‘Roman Doctrine of Grace’, p. 174.

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27 Ibid., pp. 276–7.

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34 Ibid., p. 121.

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37 Torrance, ‘Intuitive and Abstractive Knowledge’, p. 305.

38 Torrance, Theology in Reconciliation, p. 7

39 Ibid., pp. 9–10.

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41 Ibid.

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44 Torrance, ‘Ecumenism and Rome’, p. 60.

45 Ibid.

46 Lumen Gentium: The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964) <https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html>; accessed 6 February 2023.

47 Ibid., §15.

48 Ibid., §8.

49 Torrance, ‘Ecumenism and Rome’, p. 59.

50 Ibid., p. 62; see Lumen Gentium, §28.

51 Lumen Gentium, §10.

52 Torrance, ‘Ecumenism and Rome’, p. 60.

53 Ibid., p. 62.

54 See Lumen Gentium, §8.

55 See Thomas F. Torrance, Space, Time and Incarnation (Oxford: OUP, 1969); idem, Theological Science (Oxford: OUP, 1969); idem, God and Rationality (Oxford: OUP, 1971).

56 T.F. Torrance, ‘Ecumenism and Science’, in God and Rationality, pp. 124–30.

57 Torrance, ‘Ecumenism and Rome’, p. 63

58 Ibid., p. 63.

59 Torrance, T. F., Juridical Law and Physical Law: Toward a Realist Foundation for Human Law (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1997), p. 2Google Scholar.

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61 Ibid.

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66 Ibid., p. 36

67 Ibid., p. 22.

68 Torrance, Thomas F., ‘Toward an Ecumenical Consensus on the Trinity’, in Trinitarian Perspectives: Toward Doctrinal Agreement (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994), p. 339CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

69 Ibid.

70 Ibid., p. 340

71 Rahner, Trinity, p. 104.

72 Ibid.

73 Torrance, ‘Toward an Ecumenical Consensus’, p. 346.

74 Ibid., p. 347.

75 Ibid.

76 Ibid., pp. 348–9.

77 Torrance, Thomas F., The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons (London: T & T Clark, 2001 [1996]), p. 136Google Scholar.

78 Ibid., pp. 124, 161.

79 Hattie Williams, ‘Kirks and Roman Catholic Scots Celebrate their Common Heritage’, Church Times, 27 May 2022 <https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2022/27-may3-june/news/uk/kirks-and-roman-catholic-scots-celebrate-their-common-heritage>; accessed 6 February 2023.