Theological anthropology of Thomas F. Torrance : a critical and comparative exploration
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Despite tackling theological anthropology in one of his earliest works, this remains a minor theme in the writings of Thomas. F. Torrance. Yet his writings are replete with references to the nature of the human person from the perspective of the doctrine of God, creation and the person and work of Christ. This accent upon theology rather than anthropology is intentional in securing a strongly theological and Christological understanding of the person, largely in opposition to more anthropocentric approaches to the knowledge of God. The thesis explores the ways in which his handling of key Christian doctrines shapes his account of the human person as created and redeemed, relational and rational, dependent yet responsible. In particular, his early response to the Barth-Brunner controversy, via the interpretation of Calvin, is analysed before proceeding to his account of the anthropological significance of the vicarious humanity of Christ, the persons of the Trinity and the creation of the world through the divine Logos. To draw Torrance’s anthropological conclusions into clearer perspective, a series of comparison with other 20th century writers is drawn – Bultmann, Macmurray and Moltmann. What emerges is an appreciative reading of Torrance’s theological anthropology as an important resource in terms of its methodology and strong theological orientation, but one which identifies some important lacunae on the particularity of the human creature.