Barbara Brown Taylor

An Altar in the World

In her critically acclaimed memoir Leaving Church, Taylor wrote about leaving parish ministry to become a teacher, a decision that rearranged everything from her wardrobe to her faith. Now in her stunning follow-up, An Altar in the World, she reveals how she learned to encounter the God who does not live in church.

Describing spiritual practices as basic as walking, carrying water, being with other people, and saying blessings, she calls conventional distinctions between the sacred and the secular into question. Delving into darker practices of getting lost, falling ill, feeling pain, and grieving loss, she challenges the notion that God does God’s best work in the light. Throughout this richly personal narrative, she suggests that no physical act is too earthbound to become a path to the divine. The world is full of altars, she says, for those willing to welcome the truth that comes to them in the flesh.

New York Times bestseller, Publisher's Weekly starred review, Silver Nautilus Award winner, Rodda Book Award winner

"With calm confidence and hard won humility, Barbara Brown Taylor continues to serve our recovery of a whole faith, a performed faith, a lifesaving and lifegiving faith. With a delightfully deft touch, she replaces a wide array of false dichotomies with true coherencies. The heart of her matter—and of ours—is finally a recovery of genuine prayer, the prayer of a heart awakened to God’s Presence—here, and now, and ever."
--Scott Cairns
Author of Short Trip to the Edge: Where Earth Meets Heaven—A Pilgrimage

HarperOne Downloadable Study Guide: An Altar in the World

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