Undergoing God

Dispatches from the Scene of a Break-In

By James Alison
(Continuum, Paperback, 9780826419286, 246pp.)

Publication Date: January 2007

List Price: $25.95*
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What do Rowan Williams, Stanley Hauerwas, Rene Girard, Richard Rohr, Timothy Radcliffe, Monica Furlong, Richard Rohr, Andrew Sullivan, and Mark Jordan have in common beside their Christian faith? Answer: the fact that they have all heaped praise on one or another of James Alison's books. "Intellectual dynamite and spiritual joy" (Rohr); "wit, clarity, depth and surprises" (Williams); "deeply moving and liberating" (Radcliffe). Perhaps James Keenan has put it most memorably: "Not since C.S. Lewis has an English Christian summoned his readers into such holy conversations." And Andrew Sullivan has spoken for the community most touched by Allison's work: "a rich resource for gay Catholics trying to reconcile their own deep and profound faith with the hostility of the hierarchy." About half of his new book deals with lesbian and gay issues, particularly in light of the the latest Vatican ukase banning gays from seminaries, and the rest with a variety of tropes central to Christian faith and life: reconciliation, the Eucharist, psychology and evil, worship in a violent world. But whatever the topic Alison turns to he writes with the edgy brilliance of a "break-in" artist who is always full of surprises.
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