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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 25 no. 1 (Spring 2018)

From Big Bang to heat death? Theological considerations concerning modern cosmological issues

Isaak Deman (Postgraduate student in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium)

This essay sets out to challenge the widespread assumption that scientific explanations for the creation and destiny of the universe are directly opposed to religious or theological explanations of the cosmos. It begins by exploring the cosmic geography of the peoples of the Ancient Near East and examining linguistic elements of the biblical creation stories in order to demonstrate that our modern concerns about understanding the cosmos are not necessarily the same as those of the biblical authors. It goes on to discuss current areas of debate – such as the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, the concept of a multiverse, and the idea of ‘heat death’ as a potential end of the cosmos – and considers how far such concepts are compatible with Christian teaching.

(This paper was selected as the winning entry in the 2017 Fraser Essay Prize competition.)

The nature and purpose of reason in Christian theology: The 1952 exchange between Thomas F. Torrance and Brand Blanshard

Alexander J. D. Irving (Assistant Curate at St Stephen’s Church, Norwich and visiting lecturer at the London School of Theology)

This paper argues that the correspondence between T. F. Torrance and the philosopher Brand Blanshard is an under-utilized resource in understanding Torrance’s view of the nature and purpose of reason in Christian theology. It argues that perspectives from an earlier point in Torrance’s thought (1938–49) converge in these documents, and traces how the emphases from the letters develop in his mature thought, arguing that there is a fundamental continuity in Torrance’s position on reason throughout his career. At the same time however, there is significant development in the epistemological and theological sophistication with which he holds these convictions. The paper concludes that, for Torrance, reason is subordinate to reality and its purpose is to facilitate the conforming of the mind to that reality.

Còmhraidhean: Doing local theology in Argyll

Kenneth R. Ross (Church of Scotland parish minister at Netherlorn, Argyll)

Còmhraidhean (Gaelic for conversations) was the name chosen by a network of people based in Argyll for the series of meetings they established to help them better engage theologically with their own contemporary context. Their common concern was a commitment to the Christian faith and an awareness that many today have no place for traditional understandings of faith in God or Christian discipleship. The central questions became: how could this disconnect be overcome, and how could a renewed connection be formed between the contemporary world and the realities to which Christian faith bears witness? The themes for their còmhraidhean were: identifying culture and context; faith and friendship; faith in community; faith and the environment; the referenda on Scottish Independence and Brexit; believing in business; faith and national identity; Argyll’s Spiritual Landscape; and faith and the visual arts.

Books reviewed

Theology in Scotland cover (new)


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 Sarah Lane Ritchie
New College
University of Edinburgh
Mound Place
Edinburgh EH1 2LX

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

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