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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,699 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Brown Taylor Narrator: Barbara Brown Taylor Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In her critically acclaimed Leaving Church ("a beautiful, absorbing memoir."—Dallas Morning News), Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about 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 beyond the walls of any church.

From simple practices such as walking, working, and getting lost to deep meditations on topics like prayer and pronouncing blessings, Taylor reveals concrete ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of devotion if we pay attention to what we are doing and take time to attend to 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. Under Taylor's expert guidance, we come to question conventional distinctions between the sacred and the secular, learning that no physical act is too earthbound or too humble to become a path to the divine. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The author seems simply incapable of writing a bad book. And this volume, which focuses on spiritual practices, simply adds to her growing reputation.”

    Kansas City Star

  • “Taylor writes fluently, with an eye and ear for the striking image and memorable phrase. Many readers…will find support and useful counsel.”

    Library Journal

  • “Elegant, wise, and insightful, this book is also sacramental: it mediates the life it describes.”

    Marcus Borg, author of Jesus

  • “I have been reading Barbara Brown Taylor for years now, and nothing she has written has stirred and inspired me quite as much as An Altar in the World.”

    Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marginalia2 | 2/16/2014

    " I liked the way Taylor expanded the concept of church and spirituality to move beyond the confines of a building and to the daily doings of each life . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Pgchuis | 2/9/2014

    " I don't quite understand how she reconciles her clear love of the Christian faith with her seeming belief that all faiths are equally valid, but I found lots of this book very thought-provoking and helpful. I particularly valued the chapters on seeing God in other people and keeping Sabbath. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carolyn | 2/7/2014

    " Why have I never read Barbara Brown Taylor before? I must now read everything she's ever written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Allison | 1/29/2014

    " The end is fantastic, but it drags a bit in the middle. "

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About the Author
Author Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor’s book Leaving Church was met with widespread critical acclaim, including from the New York Times, USA Today, NPR’s Fresh Air, and others. Taylor spent fifteen years in parish ministry and was named one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world by Baylor University in 1996. She became a professor of religion at Piedmont College in 1998 and also teaches spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary. Still a priest in the Episcopal church, Taylor has traveled the world in pursuit of sacred wisdom, finding most of what she needed in her backyard. She lives on a working farm in rural north Georgia with her husband, Ed.