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On Being Liked: 17 Paperback – 15 Apr 2003


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On Being Liked: 17 + Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay + Undergoing God: Dispatches from the Scene of a Break-in
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Product details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Darton Longman & Todd (15 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023252517X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232525175
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 665,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jon E on 20 April 2009
Format: Paperback
The genius of James Alison's theology is that it re-energises traditional theological concepts - whether Biblical, patristic or medieval - in such a way that they remain viable and intact even while all trace of violent patriarchy or scholastic aridity seems to have been excised from them. For this he owes an incomparable debt, of course, to the theory of mimetic desire and violent scapegoating pioneered by the French academic Rene Girard. Alison inhabits the Girardian thought-world with a fluid ease that makes Girard's sometimes dry presentation come to vivid life and reveals the seemingly infinite scope of its implications for theology and ecclesiology.

"On Being Liked" is a sequel to Alison's own ground-breaking work "Faith Beyond Resentment", which was addressed primarily to gay Roman Catholics who struggle to reconcile their faith with church teaching on homosexuality. Alison's account of the foundational event in Christian life, the crucifixion/resurrection of Christ, follows the Girardian template. God, in human form, by willingly occupying humankind's self-created 'place of shame', a location at once satanic and 'sacred', unmasks for all time the violent sacrificial mechanism that we unconsciously deploy in order to maintain a social order that sustains itself by the creation of victims. Such a social order was not unique to first century Palestine, but has always and everywhere been the case. Alison's gaze has particularly dwelt on the manner in which scapegoating remains operative in present day ecclesiological structures, as exemplified by the Vatican's hostile language about and treatment of openly gay and lesbian Catholics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rev'd Richard Allen on 13 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback
This book has become the one I can't be without. There is so much in it, from a discussion of 9/11 and violence (cf Grad mimetics) to a superb critique of the theories of atonement, it stimulates new thought every time I open it. A must-read for any serious theologian.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Seeker on 1 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
Yes this is difficult to understand in places and yet it is worth perservering. I think it offers insights to individuals, groups and cultures as to why we, as humans, seem to make the same mistakes over and over again. It offers a chance to re-evaluate the way in which we relate to ourselves, to others, to the world and to what is sacred/divine.
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4 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on 16 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
I found that large sections of this book were impossible to understand. I felt that the author found it very difficult to write. Or, perhaps, this was written in a style of religious writing with which I am not familiar.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Finding Our Likeness in God 26 Sep 2004
By Philip Spivey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
James Alison is an extraodinary thinker. Having read his four other books, I found "On Being Liked" his most accessable. Alison is not any easy read and I don't always comprehend everything he writes, but what I do understand is audacious in it's conceptualizition and startling in its grasp of scripture. Alison is totally God centered --- not an avenging and punishing God, but a God who wishes to envelope his creations --- including us gay and lesbian folks --- like a warm blanket. Alison presumes a belief and basic understanding of Christianity because he is a Roman Catholic priest and theologian, but unlike what you would expect from someone with these credentials, he takes Roman Catholic orthodoxy and puts it to the test. The results are breathtaking in their unfolding and liberating in their effects. This book is for the thinking crowd that isn't afraid to work for their revelations.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Refreshing good news 12 Aug 2005
By Edmund Szarzynski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Brilliant style and deep insight in the Gospels' teaching. This book, just as "Faith Beyond Resentment", renews and maintains my Catholicity.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
On Being liked 16 Feb 2013
By Christine Schiltz Christine Schiltz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a gift for someone, but before I gave it away, I read some of the book and liked what I read.
7 of 37 people found the following review helpful
natural philosophy naturally wrong 22 Feb 2010
By Carol Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i wish this were true. truly. it seems to that it just goes to show you the problem with natural theology. that it allows taht which happens to be, to be the end of matter. so poof, no problem with homosexuality as it is natural, so if it is natural then well it must be good, therefore homosexuality is good as it is naturally occuring phenomenon. the problem, and i wish his argument was true, is that any naturally occuring thing is, if it is truly natural, is good and ordained...such as well paedophilia rape, and murder.

some of his other stuff on likeness and love are good

i felt the best bits were borrowed from rene girard, and the source was better in this case
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