James Alison has lectured and taught throughout the U.S., the United Kingdom and Latin America. His books, which include The Joy of Being Wrong, Fragments Catholic and Gay and Raising Abel, are strikingly original in presenting central Christian claims as well as deeply engaged with the Catholic theological tradition. His book Undergoing God will be published this fall. The Century talked to him about sin and violence, and God’s way of overcoming them through the “nonrivalrous” life and death of Jesus.
Your first book was an examination of original sin—not, for most people, a topic connected with joy. But the title of the book is The Joy of Being Wrong. What joy is associated with original sin?