James Alison (b. 1959) is a Catholic theologian, priest and author. He has studied, lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and the United States as well as his native England. James earned his doctorate in theology from the Jesuit Faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1994 and is a systematic theologian by training.
His principal claim to fame is as one of those who has done most to bring the work of the great French thinker René Girard to a wider public. In addition he is known for his firm but patient insistence on truthfulness in matters gay as an ordinary part of basic Christianity, and for his pastoral outreach in the same sphere.
James was brought up in an Evangelical Anglican family, and became a Catholic at the age of 18 in 1978. He was ordained priest in 1988. Having lived with the Dominican Order between 1981 and 1995, James now works as an itinerant preacher, lecturer and retreat giver. He is currently a Fellow of Imitatio (www.imitatio.org). He accompanies a wide variety of publics, through academic lectures, undergraduate, postgraduate and professors' seminars, adult catechesis courses, retreats for priests, parish groups, and Catholic and ecumenical gay and lesbian retreats.
He is the author of Knowing Jesus (London: SPCK 1992,8; Springfield: Templegate 1993); Raising Abel New York: Crossroad 1996 (2nd edition, updated, London: SPCK 2010) The Joy of Being Wrong (Crossroad 1998); Faith beyond resentment: fragments catholic and gay (London: Darton Longman & Todd 2001; Crossroad 2001) On being liked (DLT 2003 and Crossroad 2004). Undergoing God (DLT (London) and Continuum (New York) 2006) and Broken Hearts and New Creations: intimations of a great reversal (DLT (London) and Continuum (New York) 2010. Editions of some of James books exist in Spanish, Italian, Dutch, French, Russian and Portuguese.
James’ most recent work (2013) is Jesus the Forgiving Victim a programme of induction into the Christian Faith for adults, available in DVD, text or digital formats, and which follows on from the insight into desire associated with René Girard. (www.forgivingvictim.com) The text has been fully translated into French and Welsh. In addition a Spanish translation is in progress.
James’ 2017 schedule includes engagements in the US, England, Wales, France, Spain, Mexico and Colombia. When not on the road, James lives in Madrid
James Alison on small spaces of possibility and the risk of indifference.
Relax. You are being held. You are on solid ground.
Mercy, not sacrifice.
James Alison on worship and fake forms of togetherness.
A few thoughts on Jesus.
God has nothing to do with death.
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