Synopses & Reviews
In her critically acclaimed Leaving Church
(a beautiful, absorbing memoir — The Dallas Morning News
), Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about her experience leaving full-time ministry to become a professor, a decision that stretched the boundaries of her faith. Now, in her stunning follow-up, An Altar in the World, she shares how she learned to encounter God far beyond the walls of the church.
Taylor reveals meaningful ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see, from simple practices such as walking, working, and prayer. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of meditation if we pay attention to what we're doing and take time to notice the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true human connection. Allowing yourself to get lost leads to new discoveries. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do. Through Taylor's expert guidance and delicate, thought-provoking prose, we learn to live with purpose, pay attention, slow down, and revere the world we live in.
"Taylor writes fluently, with an eye and ear for the striking image and memorable phrase. Many readers, especially the vast numbers of the "unchurched" but "spiritual," will find support and useful counsel." Library Journal
"[A] lovely book. One of the best-known preachers in the country offers equal amounts of wisdom and erudition spent longing for more meaning, more feeling, more connection." Booklist
"In what often seems to be an increasingly xenophobic and narrowly black-and-white culture, An Altar in the World is a stirring invitation to embrace religious diversity, and to truly open our hearts to, and be transformed by, the experience and traditions of others." Chris Faatz, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
The critically-acclaimed author of Leaving Church continues her spiritual journey by revealing how she learned to encounter the sacred everywhere in the world.
In Leaving Church, we followed Barbara Brown Taylor as she left full-time ministry to become a university professor, a decision that allowed her to discover new ways to "keep the faith" outside of traditional Christianity. Now, in An Altar in the World, Taylor shares her techniques for encountering God far beyond the walls of the church.
From deep meditations to simple practices like walking, working or even getting lost, each chapter of An Altar in the World reveals meaningful ways to find the sacred in the small things we do and see. Through Taylor's expert guidance, we learn to live with purpose, pay attention, slow down, and revere the world in which we live.
Barbara Brown Taylor was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1983. A frequent guest preacher and teacher at churches and universities across the country, she was named one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world by Baylor University in 1996 and resigned from her parish soon thereafter to accept an endowed chair in religion at Piedmont College. She lives on a working farm in rural Habersham County, Georgia with her husband, Ed.
"An Altar in the World is a delight to the eyes, mind and heart, a book I will certainly return to again at a later time, if only to remind myself of the spirituality of everyday living."
- America Magazine
--Read the Spirit
In the New York Times bestseller An Altar in the World, acclaimed author Barbara Brown Taylor continues her spiritual journey by building upon where she left off in Leaving Church. With the honesty of Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and the spiritual depth of Anne Lamott (Grace, Eventually), Taylor shares how she learned to find God beyond the church walls by embracing the sacred as a natural part of everyday life. In An Altar in the World, Taylor shows us how to discover altars everywhere we go and in nearly everything we do as we learn to live with purpose, pay attention, slow down, and revere the world we live in.
About the Author
Barbara Brown Taylor teaches religion at Piedmont College in rural northeast Georgia and is an adjunct professor of spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur. She is the author of 12 books, including An Altar in the World (HarperOne, February 2009). Her first memoir, Leaving Church, met with widespread critical acclaim, winning a 2006 Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. An at-large editor for The Christian Century and sometime commentator on Georgia Public Broadcasting, Taylor lives on a working farm with her husband, Ed, and a wide variety of creatures.