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An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith (Paperback)
“Barbara Brown Taylor shows how our ordinary, everyday lives are full of spiritual possibilities. In clear and direct language, she uses traditional spiritual disciplines to open up new avenues for discerning and experiencing the world as a spiritual place.”
— Blake Hardy, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffehouse, Atlanta, GA
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 is the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller An Altar in the World and Leaving Church, which received an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Taylor is the Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, where she has taught since 1998. She lives on a working farm in rural northeast Georgia with her husband, Ed.
“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.” — Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence
“This book is the most practical but everyday mystical book I have read on spiritual practices.” — Kate Campbell, singer-songwriter
“Elegant, wise, and insightful, this book is also sacramental: it mediates the life it describes.” — Marcus Borg, author of Jesus
“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.” — Nora Gallagher, author of Things Seen and Unseen and Changing Light
“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
“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.” — National Catholic Reporter
“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.” — Kansas City Star
“Taylor is one of those rare people who truly can see the holy in everything. . . . Savor this book.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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.” — Read the Spirit
“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
“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.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“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 .” — ExploreFaith
“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.” — Dallas Morning News
“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.” — —U.S. Catholic
“…[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.” — Read the Spirit
“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.” — Raleigh News and Observer
“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.” — ChristianityToday.com
“Barbara Brown Taylor penetrates the religious clutter. She comforts. She revives our spirits. With lovely words she finds ‘alters in our world.’” — The Congregationalist
“While I don’t like long books, this one could have been 500 pages longer with no complaints from me.” — Christian Science Monitor