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The Forgiving Victim: Perspectives on Faith vs. Religion

As the My52WOW journey continues, I am fortunate to run into many different interesting individuals who are energized by discussions about religion, spirituality, and how we can reach out to others to jump-start interfaith dialogue and understanding. I also run into many organizations who fall into the same categories. At an event at Chicago’s WBEZ a few months ago, I met a fascinating woman named Maura who works with The Raven Foundation, an organization whose tagline is “Making Religion Reasonable, Violence Unthinkable, and Peace a Possibility”. She introduced me to The Forgiving Victim, an Induction into Christian Vulnerability with James Alison.

As the www.forgivingvictim.com site shares, “James Alison (b. 1959) is a Catholic theologian, priest and author. He has studied, lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the United States as well as his native England. A systematic theologian by training, James’ has developed The Forgiving Victim, a program of induction into the Christian Faith for adults, following on from the insight into desire associated with René Girard. He has taught the course, either as a whole or in portions, to small groups around the world over the last fourteen years, and its form and content has been shaped by those experiences.”

By joining the community that James Alison has created and is creating,  “you are joining a global community in the process of discovering orthodoxy made fresh and the Christian faith made livable, prayable and preachable.”

I am excited to learn more about the writings of James Alison, as well as participating, hopefully in his course, which will be available online (says the site) in January 2013. After watching the video intro on the site, I was intrigued – specifically by a portion where he talks about the difference between faith and religion, which takes place from about minute 45 to minute 51 of the hour long video intro on his site.

Take a look…I would love to know what you have heard about this book, and this speaker – or what you think about his discussion on “Faith vs Religion.”

Picture credits: http://forgivingvictim.com/


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