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Broken Hearts New Creations: Intimations of a Great Reversal

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Broken Hearts New Creations: Intimations of a Great Reversal.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    James Alison(Author)

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This new book from James Alison has all the brilliance, wit and panache that have made him one of the most influential contemporary Catholic writers. Celebrated for his firm but gentle insistence on facing down current ecclesiastical teaching on homosexuality with the question, Yes, but is it true? , and his wry observations as the church flails around on gay issues, Alison is also admired and enjoyed for the freshness and verve of his interpretations of scripture, for his dazzling word play and teasing connections, surprises and reversals. Alison develops the implications for theology and religion of the insights of the French literary critic and philosopher René Girard, which expose the violence hidden at the heart of our culture. He shows how Girard s concepts of mimetic desire and the scapegoat mechanism both confirm and transform our understanding of Christianity.

Acclaim for James AlisonA brilliant combination of scholarship and encounter with God in the ordinary life of the Church. Timothy RadcliffeAlison is a rich resource for gay Catholics, trying to reconcile their own deep and often profound faith with the hostility of the hierarchy. Andrew SullivanLike all James Alison s books, almost frighteningly profound. Stanley HauerwasA book of wit, clarity, depth and surprises. Rowan Williams --Rowan Williams

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Book details

  • PDF | 320 pages
  • James Alison(Author)
  • Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd (28 April 2010)
  • English
  • 9
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By Mr. D. P. Jay on 30 October 2014

    The first section reminds me of Jeffrey John, who remarked and leaving Welsh chapel for anglo-catholicism meant that he could stop being a goody-goody. James’ becoming a Roman Catholic liberated him from evangelical smugness. Catholicism accepts that we sin because God has provided the remedy.However, as I find in the writings of other intelligent Roman Catholics, there is always a sense of special pleading, of telling us that it isn’t really as bad as protestants think it is.I was present at his keynote talk ‘Living the Magnificat’. Many of us thought that there were too many Roman Catholic in jokes and that the talk wasn’t very relevant to the theme of our conference, which about ethics. With hindsight, I think that the organisers had given him a difficult, if not impossible, task. However, his insights on Our Lady’s role was much more glorious than the sickly piety which characterises many anglo-catholics.I am sure that the organisers wanted James to make links between the Magnificat, especially the filling of the hungry and the toppling of the mighty, with social justice. But James seems to take little interest in social justice (just like his mimetic theory doesn’t see the implications for pacifism, though he does touch on this in the next essay)James quotes Margaret Baker’s assertion about the Immanuel prophecy in Isaiah 7:11, namely that in the masoretic text, Ahaz says he will not ask for a sign from the LORD the Isaiah scroll from the Dead Sea differs by one letter, and reads: "Ask a sign from the Mother of the LORD your God" I have long been suspicious of Barker’s work and can find no evidence that she is correct on this point. (Though I’d be glad to be proved wrong.) (The trouble is that most scholarly ink has been spoilt on the Hebrew ‘alma’ and Matthew’s use of it to mean ‘virgin’.In an overlong talk to the clergy of Salisbury Diocese, he explains why being gay is different from belonging to other minority groups. (I had to look up ‘Tagalog’ – apparently it is a Philippine language)Like Clare Herbert, whom I am sure he knows, he explains that obedience to bishops is relativised according to their ignorance of the situation of LGBT people.He detoxifies Christian anti-Judaism by pointing out that Jesus’s criticisms of the Pharisees apply to all religious teachers.There is a good section on the idea that God has emotions. I know a priest who pronounces John 3:16, in ‘the comfortable words’, as ‘God SO…. Loved the world. It is like modern youthspeak as in ‘I SO want to….’ The Greek doesn’t bear out this interpretation at all. From that it follows that God doesn’t ‘will’ us to do certain things beyond human flourishing. That puts into question the idea of God having ‘a plan for us in specific termsThere is a brilliant exegesis of the parable of the prodigal son which owes much to the theory that New Testament texts were meant for liturgical use and linked in with the Jewish lectionary of the time: liturgy is prior to text…. many of the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures were born for liturgical purposes. Some of the suggestions might seem far-fetched until you realise that the typological interpretations of the early fathers are just as foreign to us today. However, James is too dependent on the ideas of Margaret Baker, who says that the high priest represented God. I can find nowhere in the Jewish literature of the time such an idea.His treatment of the kenotic hymn in Philippians owes too much to Margaret Baker and her dubious scholarship. Then again, he doesn’t claim to be a biblical specialist so much as a systematic theologian.There is a masterly treatment of the story of the paralysed man by the Pool of Bethesda. It was a tonic for me after I heard a particularly naïve sermon about it.Alison is right to warn about mental hygiene when dealing with the church over gay issues. He then goes on to explain, in a tortuous fashion, how the statements of the hierarchy might not be as bad as they appear.


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