Iain R. Torrance was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he earned an M.A. in mental philosophy, at St. Andrews University, where he earned a B.D. in New Testament languages and literature, and at Oxford University (Oriel College), where he earned a D.Phil in Syriac patristics. Torrance began his ministry in a parish church in the Shetland Islands 200 miles north of Scotland. His pastoral experiences include service as a reservist chaplain to Britain’s armed forces from 1982 to 2000. He began his calling to teach as a lecturer at the Queen’s College, Birmingham, and the University of Birmingham in England, and he went on to join the faculty of Aberdeen University, where he was professor in patristics and Christian ethics. In 2001 he became Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Divinity. In the same year, he was appointed a chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, and this is an office that he retains.
His wide-ranging scholarship has focused on early Christian thought, the ethics of war, and bioethics. He has been coeditor of The Scottish Journal of Theology since 1982. He is interested in ecumenics, and is cochair of the international dialogue between the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Orthodox Church. In May 2003, Torrance was elected moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; he completed his term in May 2004. As moderator, he traveled throughout the church, including visits to Iraq, Eritrea, Sudan, and China. He was elected Princeton Theological Seminary’s sixth president in April 2004 and took office on July 1, 2004. He has been granted honorary doctorates by the universities of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Debrecen, and King College in Tennessee. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s National Academy of Science and Letters.
The Correspondence of Severus and Sergius (in Texts from Christian Late Antiquity, volume 11, Gorgias Press, New Jersey, 2011)
Cambridge Dictionary of Theology (coedited with Ian McFarland, David Fergusson, and Karen Kilby, Cambridge, 2011)
Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (coedited with John Webster and Kathryn Tanner, Oxford, 2007)
To Glorify God: Essays on Modern Reformed Liturgy (coedited with Bryan Spinks, T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 1999)
Human Genetics: A Christian Perspective (coedited with William Storrar, Church of Scotland, 1995)
Christology after Chalcedon (The Canterbury Press, 1988)