About ten years ago I got interested in the theology of James Alison. I read several of his books and attended events that he led in Philadelphia. Because of my interest, James invited me and a colleague to a training program at Daylesford Abbey for people who might like to be facilitators of a video course called “Jesus the Forgiving Victim.”
My friend, Tom Michael, a Presbyterian pastor, and I presented the program at Foulkways Retirement Community, where he had recently moved. We worked with a small group for 31 sessions of videos James Alison prepared followed by discussion that was unique to the people present in our group.
Going through and facilitating the course reformed my own theology (which is saying a lot since I’m religiously professional, as an Episcopal priest) and helped me better understand myself and other people. When I started attending Old First, I immediately felt that I had found a place where I could best pursue my faith and life.
I talked to Pastor Michael about the program, and he asked if I would be willing to facilitate a group at Old First.
The sections of this course — essentially, an intro. to Christianity or a reintroduction to our faith — are: Starting Human, Staying Human; One God, not one of many Gods; The Difference Jesus Makes; Unexpected Insiders.
For more information, you can learn more about the program here. Also, here is a bio. on the course’s author, James Alison. Alison sees his work in line with the teachings of the French philosopher, Rene’ Girard.
I would invite anyone interested in this study / discussion to meet with me after worship on Sunday, October 16. Bring a brown bag lunch. We will watch the first video, discuss it, and decide if there is enough interest to continue on other Sundays, probably twice a month.