An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith  -     By: Barbara Brown Taylor
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An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

HarperOne / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

* In this follow-up to her acclaimed memoir Leaving Church, noted preacher and teacher Taylor reveals concrete ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see. Each chapter fleshes out a simple practice to increase your faith, including paying attention (reverence); encountering others (community); living with purpose (vocation); and saying no (Sabbath). 240 pages, softcover from HarperOne.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.31 X 0.54 (inches)
ISBN: 0061370479
ISBN-13: 9780061370472
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In her critically acclaimed Leaving Church ("a beautiful, absorbing memoir"—The Dallas Morning News), Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about her experience leaving full-time ministryto 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.

Author Bio

Barbara Brown Taylor's last book, An Altar in the World, was a New York Times bestseller that received the Silver Nautilus Award in 2012. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, received an Author of the Year Award from the Georgia Writers Association and won the Theologos Award for Best General Interest Book of 2006. Taylor spent fifteen years in parish ministry before becoming the Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, where she has taught world religions since 1998. She lives on a working farm in rural north Georgia with her husband, Ed.

Editorial Reviews

“This is the most completely beautiful book in religion that I have read in a very long time. Gentle, humbly crafted, lyrical, and deeply wise, Altar is Barbara Brown Taylor as she was meant to be, a pastor who understands that knowing God occurs in a place beyond theology.”
“This book is the most practical but everyday mystical book I have read on spiritual practices.”
“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.”
“Taylor serves up beefy soul food.. . . Though she did not write the book to speak to the economic crash, those suffering from lost jobs, homes and status will find plenty to feed thought and faith.”
“A marvelous book. Barbara Brown Taylor’s honesty is so fantastic, and she writes with such wit, that this book is a delight to read and a profound experience .”
“Leaving Church settled it for me that Taylor, as thinker and stylist, ranks with the best. The new book confirms that. . . . This book is not a page-turner. It’s a page-lingerer. I wore out a highlighter marking passages I want to read again.”
“Without denigrating altars in churches, Brown helps us discover and honor all the ‘altars in the world’--the red Xs that mark the spot, but that we cannot see because we are standing on them. She does so with a depth that readers will appreciate and savor.”
“…[H]er honest elegance... express[es] truths that throw open windows in our everyday lives–allowing fresh perspectives on life. You’ll finish her book with dozens of pages folded over or marked in some other fashion so you can find and re-read favorite lines again.”
“Barbara Brown Taylor is a favorite among church members who struggle to connect the sacred and secular, the heavenly and the earthly. These readers appreciate the candor with which she writes about it.”
“Overall… if one can read Taylor’s insights reflectively, with an eye toward Scripture, Altar will serve as a refreshing reminder that the physical world is designed to help us experience the spiritual one.”
“Barbara Brown Taylor penetrates the religious clutter. She comforts. She revives our spirits. With lovely words she finds ‘alters in our world.’”
“While I don’t like long books, this one could have been 500 pages longer with no complaints from me.”
“Elegant, wise, and insightful, this book is also sacramental: it mediates the life it describes.”
“An Altar in the World is about how faith can be both practical and sensuous.In Barbara Brown Taylor’s hands, the old division between heaven and earth is healed and both come alive. Your mind, your body and your soul will be well fed by this wonderful book.”
“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.”
“[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.”
“Taylor’s spiritual reflections are original, bringing fresh air to her topics because her spirituality is steeped in everyday life while illuminated by the ancient Christian spiritual tradition.”
“The author seems simply incapable of writing a bad book. . . . Taylor is a great gift to the Christian church. And this volume, which focuses on spiritual practices, simply adds to her growing reputation.”
“Taylor is one of those rare people who truly can see the holy in everything. . . . Savor this book.”
“She’s deliberately exploring the turf where our feet hit the floorboards each morning - and where the day takes us into the world. Even if you’re not a Christian, you’ll find a wise friend in Barbara’s book.”

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