The Right Reverend C. FitzSimon Allison

THE RIGHT REVEREND C. FITZSIMONS ALLISON

Retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina
PhD, Oxford University, Philosophy
BA, University of the South, Divinity Degree

Bp. Allison was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended the University of the South and, after having his studies briefly interrupted by service in the United States Army during World War II, he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1949. He then studied at Virginia Theological Seminary, from which he graduated with a bachelor of divinity degree in 1952. He was ordained a deacon in June 1952 and a priest in May 1953. Bp. Allison later studied at Oxford University and received a doctor of philosophy degree in 1956. He then taught church history at the School of Theology at the University of the South and at Virginia Theological Seminary.
He served as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in New York City before being elected as the twelfth Episcopal Bishop of South Carolina. He was elected to serve as bishop co-adjutor of the Diocese of South Carolina in 1978, then was consecrated to the episcopate in 1980. Allison retired in 1990 but has continued preaching speaking, and writing since his retirement.

Bp. Allison is a beloved author, bishop, mentor, pastor, and theologian. He is commonly known as Fitz by those who admire and love him. His theology is rooted in a true and clear understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he is admired for his work in the protestant understanding of the relationship between Law and Gospel.

Some Notable Quotes:

“Justification by faith is as rarely understood by moralists within the church as by secularists outside the church. However, of the two groups the latter are far more knowledgeable and sophisticated about the sinister effects of a religion of law. The Reformation insight that one’s identity (justification) must proceed and become the foundation of wholeness (sanctification) is precisely paralleled by the wisdom of clinical experience of the priority of ego over superego, or the necessity of the self to be nurtured in order to enable a healthy acceptance of responsibility.”

“A sergeant told a grim joke to his trainees during the Second World War, which shows the real flaw in the Pharisaic understanding of Christianity. a man stopped on a dirt road to help get another man’s car our of the ditch. The latter was beginning to harness two small furry kittens to the bumper of this huge car when he was asked, ‘Mister, you aren’t going to try to get those kittens to pull that car out of the ditch, are you?’ His reply was, ‘Why not? I’ve got a whip.’ The lash of the Law is used in similar spiritual situations. Without the principle of forgiveness our conscience acquires a quality of cruelty that makes the Gospel of Christ anything but the Good News.”

Comments

  1. Eli Takesian says:

    I’m a retired U. S. Navy chaplain. In the mid-1960s, as I was driving my car, an Episcopal priest name C. FitzSimmons Allison spoke on the radio (The Parish of the Air). His deeply moving words caused me to stop by the roadside and listen. The presentation concerned itself with the Prodigal Son’s search for freedom, his stay in a pig sty and eventual return home. I still remember most of what he said. He also preached a sermon about responses to suffering, in which he dealt with Captain Ahab, the character in Camus’ The Stranger, and Job. It’s etched on my mind.

    I understand he’s retired and living in South Carolina. May I have his address and phone number? He deserves a belated thank-you from me.

    Eli Takesian

    • tbleything says:

      I don’t know that I can give you this information but I can pass this note onto to him. Thank you.

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