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Theology in Scotland Journal

Theology in Scotland logo (normal)Theology in Scotland is sponsored by the School of Divinity, University of St Andrews (St Mary's College) and appears twice yearly, in spring and autumn. It was first published in 1994 at the request of a large group of ministers of the Church of Scotland.

With a mix of academic and practical articles and stimulating reviews, it is an ideal tool to help keep up-to-date with current theological thinking.

Current issue

Theology in Scotland 21 no. 2 (Autumn 2014)

Is the Referendum question a theological question?

Margaret A. K. Whyte (student at Highland Theological College)

Margaret Whyte’s essay (which was selected as winner of the Fraser Prize competition for 2014) puts forward the argument that the Referendum on Scottish independence raises highly relevant theological questions about nationhood, social welfare and justice, and the role of the church. She uses biblical, theological and ecclesiological material to present a balanced discussion of the question, taking in consideration of the current position of religion in society, and of ecumenical and inter-faith issues.

The Referendum – a question of the common weal

William Storrar (Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton)

In the context of the 2014 Referendum on independence, Professor William Storrar argues for a paradigm shift in Scottish Christians’ practical theological thinking about their nation. He makes the case for a move from thinking about Scotland in terms of church, state and national identity, centred on notions of sovereignty, to thinking in terms of the congregation, public sphere and civic identity, centred on notions of the common good. He concludes by considering what an ecumenical Protestant style of imagining the common good might look like.

Church, state and national identity: Some historical and theological reflections from a Catholic perspective

Mario Conti (Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of the Metropolitan See of Glasgow)
After tracing Scottish identity from its earliest beginnings to the Reformation and its aftermath, Mario Conti considers present-day discussions about the nation at a key point in its history. Observing how social, democratic governance at an appropriate level is of profound value, Rev Dr Conti argues for the pressing need for coherent vision and concludes with two personal recollections in which he reaffirms the contribution of faith, culture, and social ties to the wider issues of identity.

Does the church in Scotland still need theology?

Jason Radcliff (teacher at The Stony Brook School, New York)

In this paper, which was highly commended by the Fraser Prize 2013 Reading Panel, Jason Radcliff argues that the church should be theologically conditioned as the Body and Bride of Christ. Following Athanasius, Dr Radcliff argues that theology is the work of the Spirit who enables human understanding of God, allowing us, as Calvin maintained, to be ourselves. He concludes by emphasizing the necessity of theology in preaching and in discussions regarding the nature of ministry.

Holy Communion, a sign and seal of salvation

David W. Torrance (retired minister of the Church of Scotland)

David W. Torrance offers a brief but comprehensive examination of the Reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. He examines the foundations of the sacrament in the five great sacrificial offerings of Israel’s worship, as ordained by God. He then presents a picture of Holy Communion in the New Testament as a feast of thanksgiving commemorating God’s atonement in Christ for the sins of the world, and demonstrates how it is inextricably linked with the Cross, the Resurrection and the Great Commission.

The legacy of Professor Thomas F. Torrance

John Miller (minister of the Church of Scotland)

As a former student of T. F. Torrance, John Miller is able to give a personal insight into the profoundly rich theological legacy left by Torrance to those who studied under him. While the day-to-day realities of ministry in a deprived urban parish in Glasgow meant that Dr Miller found it necessary to supplement what he had learned in Torrance's Dogmatics class with a new theological language informed by Liberation Theology, his paper considers various ways in which the rich grounding he had been provided with nevertheless remained at the core of his theological thinking.

Book reviewed:

  • Tércio Bretanha Junker, Prophetic Liturgy: Toward a Transforming Christian Praxis

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How to subscribe


The Rev. Dr Ian D. Maxwell
Uphall South Parish Church,
8 Fernlea,
Broxburn EH52 6DF
Tel. (01506) 239 840

Reviews Editor
Dr Scott Spurlock
Theology and Religious Studies
4 The Square
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ

Production Manager
Colin Bovaird
University Library
North Street
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9TR
Tel: (01334) 462306
Fax: (01334) 462852

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