Alison James Popular Books

Alison James Biography & Facts

James Alison (born 4 October 1959) is an English Catholic priest and theologian. Alison is noted for his application of René Girard's anthropological theory to Christian systematic theology and for his work on LGBT issues. Life and Work Early years and family James Alison was born on 4 October 1959 in London. He has a brother and a sister. His father, Michael Alison, was a prominent Conservative Member of Parliament and minister in Margaret Thatcher's government. He was an Evangelical Christian, a John Stott's convert. His mother, Sylvia Mary Alison (née Haigh), embraced Evangelical Christianity under the influence of Billy Graham's missionary work. Alison described his parents as "part of that generation that sought to redefine Christianity as being a hardline, moralistic and conservative political social movement".Alison went to Eton College, a prestigious boarding school. Conversion to Catholicism and education Alison left the Church of England at the age of eighteen to join the Roman Catholic Church.He studied Spanish and History at New College of the University of Oxford. After the second year of his bachelor's degree, he went to Mexico on student exchange, at the end of which joined the Mexican Dominicans in 1981. There, he completed a postulancy and started the novitiate with Raul Vera as his novice master."For cultural and temperamental differences", he left Mexico in 1983 to complete novitiate in England, at Blackfriars, Oxford. There, his novice master was Herbert McCabe, in Alison's opinion, "probably the most significant Thomistic thinker in the English language in the 20th century" and "a wonderful teacher, and something of a father figure to me". Pastoral ministry and ordination In 1986, Alison took part in a conference organised by the English Dominicans to propose Catholic pastoral involvement with AIDS. This led to his first publication, a CTS pamphlet, Catholic and AIDS: Questions and Answers.In 1987, Alison went to continue his studies at the Jesuit theology faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He was ordained in 1988. While working on his theology degree between 1987 and 1990, he ministered to people with AIDS who – in Alison's words – "it would be more accurate to say were dying with AIDS than living, because this was before any of the cocktails [...] 80% died within five months of first symptom, so a lot of what I was doing was giving people last rites and burial." René Girard and early works In 1985, Alison came across René Girard's book, Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World. This encounter with the French thinker has produced a seismic and lasting impact.: 149–151  Starting from Alison's first monograph, Knowing Jesus (1993), this influence has been made explicit. In this book, he introduced the idea of "the intelligence of the victim" to explain the change taking place in Jesus' disciples after meeting the risen Christ.: 33–58 In 1990-94, Alison worked on his doctoral thesis about original sin at the Jesuit theology faculty in Belo Horizonte. He defended it successfully in November 1994. At Easter 1995, he left the Dominicans realising he was a "guest, not a member" there.In 1997, Alison produced a monograph, Living in the End Times (also published as Raising Abel), which was an adaptation and  translation of the course on Eschatology delivered at the Instituto Pedro de Cordoba, Chile, in 1994.: 11  In 1998, the English-language version of his doctorate was published under the title The Joy of Being Wrong. Author, preacher, lecturer and retreat giver Since 1995 onwards, Alison remained a priest, though not incardinated in any diocese. In the following six years, he moved countries seven times living in Latin America, the United States and the UK.: xiii In 2001, the Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay was published. It was the first book in which Alison attempted to set Catholic theology and Girardian insights into the context of the experience of a gay man and the wider LGBTQ+ community. He admits this task was not an easy one: “There is nothing elegant about inhabiting a space which has historically, socially and theologically been regarded at best as risible and at worst as evil”.: xi In the following years, three more collections of essays and talks appeared: On Being Liked (2004), Undergoing God (2006) and Broken Hearts and New Creations (2010) - written broadly from the same perspective as the Faith Beyond Resentment. Since 2008, Alison has been awarded a fellowship at Imitatio, the organisation set up by the Thiel Foundation for researching and promoting René Girard's thought. For a while, he lived in São Paulo, Brazil.In 2013, he produced the Jesus the Forgiving Victim, a multimedia course of induction into the Christian faith for adults which follows on from the insight into desire associated with René Girard.In 2020, Alison started Praying Eucharistically, a project exploring the ways of worshipping and Christian living in the Covid lockdown. For this project, he provides the appropriate liturgical texts for people celebrating at home, and offers Gospel readings and homilies in video format for Sundays and main festivities of the liturgical year.Currently he works as a travelling preacher, lecturer and retreat giver, based in Madrid, Spain. Clerical status Alison was a member of the Dominican order – from 1981 to 1995. In 1996, he wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith telling them that he believed his vows to be null as they been taken while under a conscience based on the "false premise of gay people being objectively disordered and thus celibacy being obligatory". He offered to let them issue a decree saying that his ordination was null, but they declined, saying it was valid. Instead, the congregation asked him to seek laicisation, but Alison declined: "The form for doing that also required that lies be told, so, on the advice of a canon lawyer, I did nothing and heard nothing."More than 10 years later, a superior in the Dominican order asked if Alison would object to his processing paperwork dismissing Alison from the order. Alison said he had no objection to the outcome of the process, but would not participate actively as he believed he was never truly a member anyway. He eventually received a letter stating that he was a priest in good standing, not currently incardinated but available to be incardinated if a bishop wished to have him.While living in Brazil, the local bishop asked for Alison's consent to be laicised. Alison declined, but instead offered to be incardinated into the diocese. The bishop declined that offer. The bishop then began a process of laicization without Alison's consent using a recent (2009) change in canon law; Alison was not informed of any charges, and believed this use of canon law was not applicable to his situation. A year later, a letter from the Congregation for the Clergy arrived announcing that Alison had been dismissed from clerical status, forbi.... Discover the Alison James popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Alison James books.

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  • Scholarly Pursuit synopsis, comments

    Scholarly Pursuit

    Robert James Allison

    Mary Benton, a beautiful, but tough army MP joined the army and the MPs for action and adventure. She likes being one of the guys even though she is a woman and not the only one ar...

  • Death at the Orange Locks synopsis, comments

    Death at the Orange Locks

    Anja de Jager

    'A novel brilliantly evoking the isolation of a woman with an unbearable weight on her conscience' Sunday Times Keeping it in the family...After her painful divorce four years ago,...

  • Insidious synopsis, comments


    Catherine Coulter

    In this thrilling entry in #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter’s FBI series, FBI agents Savich and Sherlock must discover who is trying to murder Venus Rasmussen...

  • James Alison and a Girardian Theology synopsis, comments

    James Alison and a Girardian Theology

    John P. Edwards

    Opening with a Foreword by James Alison, this volume is the first indepth treatment of Alison's theological method. John P. Edwards shows that Alison's theological project ...

  • The Vern Stephens Operation synopsis, comments

    The Vern Stephens Operation

    Robert James Allison

    Mike Maltby has more time and money than he knows what to do with and nothing to do with it, until a young boy and a broken bicycle enter his life. Now for the first time since his...

  • Death on the Canal synopsis, comments

    Death on the Canal

    Anja de Jager

    '. . . a novel brilliantly evoking the isolation of a woman with an unbearable weight on her conscience' Sunday TimesWhere do your loyalties lie? With the truth or with your collea...

  • When She Came Back synopsis, comments

    When She Came Back

    C J Parsons

    'I forgot to breathe in parts!' 5 review'I haven't been able to put down' 5 review'Worth far more than five stars' 5 reviewWhen her fiveyearold daughter disappears from the park, C...

  • The Safeguard of the Sea synopsis, comments

    The Safeguard of the Sea

    N A M Rodger

    Throughout Britain's history, one factor above all others has determined the fate of the nation: its navy. N. A. M. Rodger's definitive account reveals how the political and social...

  • In Search of Evil synopsis, comments

    In Search of Evil

    Robert James Allison

    An evil President decides to use Solitaire as his personal executioner, but he hasn’t reckoned with the power of the organization or the determination of the man. He is about to fi...

  • The Sixth Day synopsis, comments

    The Sixth Day

    Catherine Coulter

    Special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine take on a criminal mastermind in the next captivating thriller in the New York Times bestselling A Brit in the FBI series. “Coul...

  • A Cold Death in Amsterdam synopsis, comments

    A Cold Death in Amsterdam

    Anja de Jager

    The first Lotte Meerman mystery Amsterdambased Lotte Meerman is a cold case detective recovering from the emotional devastation of her previous investigation. She is angry and ment...

  • Lives of Roman Christian Women synopsis, comments

    Lives of Roman Christian Women

    Carolinne White

    'Perpetua shouted out with joy as the sword pierced her, for she wanted to taste some of the pain and she even guided the hesitant hand of the trainee gladiator towards her own thr...

  • A Cold Case in Amsterdam Central synopsis, comments

    A Cold Case in Amsterdam Central

    Anja de Jager

    Having been shot in the shoulder in the line of duty, Dutch police detective Lotte Meerman returns to work after four months of painful recovery yet not all her colleagues are hap...

  • Fairway Fatality synopsis, comments

    Fairway Fatality

    Robert James Allison

    Hannah Petrowski’s sister, Anna, disappeared thirty years ago on a golf course on old Fort Ord, California. Haunted by that disappearance, Hannah has moved back to a house overlook...

  • The Path to the Outside synopsis, comments

    The Path to the Outside

    Robert James Allison

    Book Two of the Solitaire trilogy.The horrors of the Vietnam War robbed a seventeenyearold boy, an ordinary soldier, an MP, of his youth, and turned him into an extraordinary man. ...

  • Tubes of Death synopsis, comments

    Tubes of Death

    Robert James Allison

    In a loveless society, a thousand years in the future, political correctness has been taken to the extreme and total harmony has ensued, but at great cost. With the aid of super co...

  • Wonderworks synopsis, comments


    Angus Fletcher

    This “fascinating” (Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of Outliers) examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante...

  • Storm Ports synopsis, comments

    Storm Ports

    Robert James Allison

    The island nation of Keykan is losing ships and sailors to violent storms, but how to stop the death continues to evade the leaders. The current president, having himself lost fami...

  • The Preacher synopsis, comments

    The Preacher

    Robert James Allison

    When lawyer Charles Chambers meets country singer Carol Harmon he is put off by her fame, fortune and bodyguards, but Charles' disinterest makes him interesting to Carol. Neither h...

  • The Heart of the Dales synopsis, comments

    The Heart of the Dales

    Gervase Phinn

    Escape to the country with Gervase Phinn's heartwarming tales of life as a school inspector in Yorkshire'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staffrooms' Daily Te...

  • Small Town Doctor synopsis, comments

    Small Town Doctor

    Robert James Allison

    People are dying, but no doctor will come. One man wants desperately to help, but the dark secret of his past prevents him from doing anything other than praying, which is the best...

  • The NETT synopsis, comments

    The NETT

    Robert James Allison

    In the NETT, Jack Allen is once again in the thick of a terrorist plot. Now working for a joint CIA/NSA/FBI initiative known as the National Espionage and Terrorist Tracking unit, ...

  • Six Seasons synopsis, comments

    Six Seasons

    Joshua McFadden & Martha Holmberg

    Winner, James Beard Award for Best Book in VegetableFocused Cooking Named a Best Cookbook of the Year by the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Bon Appétit, Food Network Magazine, ...

  • The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror synopsis, comments

    The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror

    Stephen Jones & Michael Marshall Smith

    Welcome to a landscape of ancient evil . . . with stories by masters of horror Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, H. P. Lovecraft, M. R. James​, Ramsey Campbell, Storm Co...

  • Trust But Verify synopsis, comments

    Trust But Verify

    Karna Small Bodman

    "Bodman's hardwon information and sheer storytelling talent make this a book to remember.” LEE CHILD, #1 worldwide bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series  "Karna B...

  • Cemetery Lake synopsis, comments

    Cemetery Lake

    Paul Cleave

    A heartthumping, noholdsbarred murdermystery that keeps you guessing until the very last page. Some secrets won't stay buried . . . A standard exhumation becomes anything but f...

  • Trailblazer synopsis, comments


    Dorothy Butler Gilliam

    Dorothy Butler Gilliam, whose 50yearcareer as a journalist put her in the forefront of the fight for social justice, offers a comprehensive view of racial relations and the media i...

  • This Was CNN synopsis, comments

    This Was CNN

    Kent Heckenlively, Cary Poarch & James O'keefe

    A CNN insider reveals what he saw behind the scenes at the cable news giant and the investigation that revealed even more shocking secrets.Cary Poarch started working at CNN in the...

  • A Story for Eloise synopsis, comments

    A Story for Eloise

    Robert James Allison

    Jake Sadler has a secret and along with that secret an unfulfilled dream. He has lived his entire life in the foothills of the Appalachians, working his farm from daylight to dark,...

  • The First Suitor synopsis, comments

    The First Suitor

    Robert James Allison

    Jack Allen is a computer nerd from rural Indiana, newly hired by the National Security Agency, and living and working in Washington DC. Jack loves only his work until he does his s...

  • The Exile synopsis, comments

    The Exile

    James Patterson & Alison Joseph

    An excop must save the woman he's sworn to protect from an ancient Irish curse.Excop Finn O'Grady hasn't been home in years. But the woman he swore to protect is convinced an ancie...

  • Legal Nightmare synopsis, comments

    Legal Nightmare

    Robert James Allison

    Frank Burrows is a twobit, smalltown lawyer in anybody's book, including his own, and now he finds himself center stage in a case involving murder, arson, and computer crimes. This...

  • A Death in Rembrandt Square synopsis, comments

    A Death in Rembrandt Square

    Anja de Jager

    Guilty until proven innocent . . .It's hard for anyone to have their work scrutinised in public. For Amsterdambased detective Lotte Meerman, listening to the Right to Justice podc...

  • Matters of Faith synopsis, comments

    Matters of Faith

    Robert James Allison

    The brazen daylight kidnapping of a baby and accusations by the police that the mother was involved, sends her over the edge and into a deep coma. By the time the accusations of th...

  • The Disaster Artist synopsis, comments

    The Disaster Artist

    Greg Sestero

    New York Times bestsellernow a major motion picture directed by and starring James Franco!From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a ci...

  • The Last Second synopsis, comments

    The Last Second

    Catherine Coulter

    The New York Times bestselling Brit in the FBI series continues with this thrilling “popcorn movie in print form” (Associated Press) pitting special agents Nicholas Drummond and Mi...

  • Unlikely Developments synopsis, comments

    Unlikely Developments

    Robert James Allison

    When Dawn Clark, runs into Mike McDonald and his old beat up pickup truck with her Mercedes SL 500, the sparks immediately begin to fly. Dawn is used to men falling all over themse...

  • Failed Succession synopsis, comments

    Failed Succession

    Robert James Allison

    A political race against time, life, and death in the nation's capital."Failed Succession" is the longawaited sequel to "The First Suitor".Jack Allen, now married to the President'...

  • The History of the Franks synopsis, comments

    The History of the Franks

    Gregory Of Tours & Lewis Thorpe

    Written following the collapse of Rome's secular control over western Europe, the History of Gregory (c. AD 539594) is a fascinating exploration of the events that shaped sixthcent...