T. F. Torrance’s Christological Anthropology : Discerning Humanity in Christ book cover
1st Edition

T. F. Torrance’s Christological Anthropology
Discerning Humanity in Christ

ISBN 9781032201344
Published June 1, 2022 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

This book demonstrates the promise of Christology for developing Scottish theologian T. F. Torrance’s theological anthropology.

T. F. Torrance’s Christological Anthropology: Discerning Humanity in Christ engages with several key themes in Torrance’s theological anthropology and considers how each one of these topics—anthropological method, the metaphysics of human nature, the imago Dei, personhood, vocation, human destiny—can be further developed in light of Christ. Christopher Woznicki argues that Christology not only holds promise for the task of developing Torrance’s insights on humanity but also for developing a constructive account of humanity.

The volume is valuable reading for scholars of T. F. Torrance’s theology and for those who are interested in the role of Christology in theological anthropology.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Oliver D. Crisp

Chapter One – Introduction: Approaching T. F. Torrance’s Theological Anthropology

Relevant Studies of Torrance’s Theological Anthropology

Method and Thesis

Outline of Subsequent Chapters

Discerning Humanity in Christ

Chapter Two – Method: Torrance’s Christological Anthropology and Christ’s Fallen Human Nature


Christological Anthropology

Eschatological Christological Anthropologies

Protological Christological Anthropologies


T. F. Torrance and Christ’s Fallen Human Nature

Motivations for Adopting the Fallen Human Nature View

The Assumption and the Sanctification of Human Nature

Christ’s Life and the Sanctification of Human Nature

Torrance’s Christological Anthropology

A Puzzle Concerning the Movement from Christology to Anthropology



Chapter Three – Nature: The Metaphysics of Human Beings

Torrance on the Union of Natures and Atonement

At-one-ment: The Once and For All Union of God and Man


Torrance’s Use of Anhypostasis—Enhypostasis in his Doctrine of Atonement

Anhypostasis and Enhypostasis


What is Christ’s Human Nature? Three Options

The One and the Many: Torrance’s Metaphysics of Human Nature

The Particularist Option: Concrete Nature Christology and Abstract

Particular Nature Christology

Abstract Nature Christology

The One and the Many: Participation and Instantiation


Chapter Four – Image: The Relational, Dynamic, Ecstatic and Christological Imago Dei

Torrance’s Doctrine of the Image of God

Developing a Theology of the Imago Dei – Torrance’s Method

Creation – What did the Image of God Originally Consist in?

Fall – What has the Fall Done to the Image of God in Humans?

Redemption – Renewing the Image of God in Humanity


A Christological Puzzle Concerning the Imago Dei


Chapter Five – Personhood: Onto-Relational Christological Anthropology

The Ontology of Persons

Relational Ontology: The Trinitarian Theology of John Zizioulas

Persons and Onto-Relations: Torrance

Torrance vs. Zizioulas on Being Persons


Christ’s Role in Personalizing Human Beings

Biological and Ecclesial Personhood in Zizioulas

Christ the Personalizing Person

Critical Assessment


Chapter Six – Vocation: Called as Priests to Know and Care for Creation

Love and Order: Creation as Contingent and Rational

The Contingent Universe

The Rationally Ordered Universe

Love, Order, and Disorder


Contingence and Order in Natural Science


Priests of Creation

Discerning Order

Instituting Order

Rectifying Disorder

For the Glory of God

Coda – Biological Diversity

The Christological Basis for Acting as Priests of Creation

The Vicarious Priesthood of Christ

Epistemological Changes

The Defeat of Evil


Chapter Seven – Destiny: Christ’s Deification of Human Nature

Describing the Doctrine of Theosis

Theosis in Athanasius

Theosis in John Calvin


Features of T. F. Torrance’s Doctrine of Theosis

Theosis: An "Intimate Sharing of what is Divine"


Christ’s Deification of Human Nature

Objective Theosis and Human Nature

Subjective Theosis and Perichoresis


Chapter Eight – Conclusion: A Torrancian Christological Anthropology

The Strengths of Torrance’s Christological Anthropology

The Weaknesses of Torrance’s Christological Anthropology


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Christopher G. Woznicki is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, USA. He has published various articles in theology and philosophy of religion. His research has appeared in journals such as Calvin Theological Journal, Journal of Reformed Theology, Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie, and Philosophia Christi, among others. His research interests include the doctrine of atonement, theological anthropology, prayer, analytic theology, and the Reformed tradition.


"Torrance’s Christological anthropology is both traditional and unique at the same time and warrants close study, especially when it is brought into a constructive dialogue with contemporary concerns. Laying out the vista of Torrance’s anthropology, situating it within Christology, and extending it into analytic mode, this study goes beyond Torrance to answer the question as to where the trajectory of his thought may have taken him. This is the first full length comprehensive treatment of this aspect of Torrance’s work and is one that delivers on the promise this holds out for addressing a range of modern issues."

– Myk Habets, Laidlaw College, New Zealand

"Dr Woznicki’s book offers an inductive-cumulative argument for how T.F. Torrance’s anthropology can be developed Christologically. The result is an impressively thorough and creative study of Torrance’s corpus as well as a new approach to Christological anthropology. This is essential reading for any students of Torrance or researchers interested in Christological anthropology."

– Dr Joanna Leidenhag, University of Leeds, UK.

"This is a lucid engagement by an analytic theologian with the theology of T.F. Torrance. It will inspire readers to address metaphysical questions raised not only by Torrance but by the New Testament itself - exemplifying a commitment to pursue clarity and semantic hygiene in Christian doctrine where, too often, there is obfuscation."

– Alan Torrance, University of St. Andrews, UK

"Moving beyond vague claims about Jesus somehow revealing what it means to be human, Woznicki draws deeply from Torrance’s fascinating anthropology to offer a clear, generous, and valuable resource for exploring how a Christological anthropology can shed new light on human existence."

– Marc Cortez, Wheaton College and Graduate School, USA