James Alison

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James Alison
Born1959 (age 59–60)
London, England[1]
ResidenceMadrid, Spain
Alma materJesuit School of Philosophy and Theology
  • Priest
  • theologian
ReligionChristianity (Roman Catholic)
ChurchLatin Church
Ordained1988 (priest)

James Alison (born 1959) is an English Roman Catholic theologian and priest. He was at one time a member of the Dominican Order, until his excardination in 1995.[2] He is noted for his application of René Girard's anthropological theory to Christian systematic theology and for his work on LGBT issues. He identifies as gay.[3][4]

Life and career[edit]

James Alison was born in 1959, the son of Michael Alison and Sylvia Alison (née Haigh). He has a brother and a sister. In Faith Beyond Resentment he describes his family background as "conservative middle-class English evangelical Protestant".[5] His father was Michael Alison (died 2004), who, after leaving the University of Oxford, had spent some time studying theology at Ridley Hall and had gone on to become a prominent Conservative Member of Parliament (1964–1997) and Second Church Estates Commissioner (1987–1997).[6] Alison left the Church of England at the age of eighteen to join the Roman Catholic Church.[7] He studied at Blackfriars College at the University of Oxford, and earned his bachelor's degree and doctorate in theology from the Jesuit Theology Faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Alison was a member of the Dominican order – his master's degree is a Dominican lectorate – from 1981 to 1995. He told Commonweal magazine in 2012 that he was released from the order without penalty, and that he is uncertain of the validity of his vow of celibacy.[2] He has lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and the United States. Currently he works as a travelling preacher, lecturer and retreat giver, based in Madrid, Spain.[8]


  • Knowing Jesus (1994) ISBN 0-87243-202-5, ISBN 0-281-04641-7 & 0281052220
  • Raising Abel, The Recovery of the Eschatological Imagination (1996) ISBN 0-8371-6434-6 (Also published under the title Living in the End Times: The Last Things Re-imagined ISBN 84-254-2097-0)
  • The Joy of Being Wrong, Original Sin Through Easter Eyes (1998) ISBN 0-8245-1676-1
  • Faith Beyond Resentment, Fragments Catholic and Gay (2001) ISBN 0-232-52411-4, ISBN 0-8245-1922-1
  • On Being Liked (2004) ISBN 0-232-52517-X, ISBN 0-8245-2261-3
  • Undergoing God: Dispatches from the Scene of a Break-In (2006) ISBN 0-232-52676-1, ISBN 0-8264-1928-3
  • Broken Hearts and New Creations: Intimations of a Great Reversal (2010) ISBN 978-0232527964, ISBN 978-1441107114
  • Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice (2013) ISBN 978-0-9818123-1-1, ISBN 0-9818123-1-7
  • Fé Além do Ressentimento - Fragmentos católicos em voz gay (2010) É Realizações Editora, Brasil [9]
  • O Pecado Original à Luz da Ressurreição- A Alegria de Descobrir-se Equivocado (2011) É Realizações Editora, Brasil [10]


  1. ^ "Oral History: James Alison". LGBT Religious Archives Network. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b Salkeld, Brett (March 6, 2012). "An Interview with James Alison". Commonweal. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  3. ^ "James Alison: Sexuality, Certainty and Salvation". RadioNational: Encounter. ABC.net.au. 8 January 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  4. ^ http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng67.html
  5. ^ http://jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng22.html
  6. ^ "Michael Alison - Obituaries - News". The Independent. 2004-05-31. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
  7. ^ "Introduction to Faith Beyond Resentment, by James Alison". Jamesalison.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
  8. ^ "About James Alison". forgivingvictim.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
  9. ^ http://www.erealizacoes.com.br
  10. ^ http://www.erealizacoes.com.br

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