Click on the titles below to visit each book's page.
Learning to Walk in the Dark
Publisher's Weekly starred review
On the cover of Taylor’s well-wrought guidebook, the light of the moon gives trees slim shadows, poppies bleed on the ground, and an owl gazes, as the book’s title laces itself among the trees. Taylor (An Altar in the World) observes these moonlit elements well: “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light...,” she writes. Ever the teacher (Piedmont College and Columbia Theological Seminary), she passes on her knowledge, whether purposefully studied or accidentally absorbed, of living with loss. Among these lunar lessons are antipathy to “full solar spirituality,” that is, seeing God as light alone, leaving dark to the devil; and sympathy toward the ever-changing moon (imagined as a Sabbath bride, she mirrors the soul better than does the steady sun). Taylor considers “endarkenment,” light bulbs, blotted stars, and Our Lady of the Underground beneath Chartres Cathedral. Taylor’s intimate voice makes good points and asks good questions, especially in the last chapter’s dialogue. She writes exemplars of exposition (narration, description, argumentation), and pens poetry in her similes and metaphors.
An Altar in the World
Publisher's Weekly starred review
Author of an acclaimed memoir (Leaving Church) and a gifted preacher, Taylor is one of those rare people who truly can see the holy in everything. Since everyone should know such a person, those who don't can—no, must—read this book, with its friendly reminders of everyday sacred. Taylor's 12 chapters mine the potentially sacred meaning of simple daily activities and conditions, like walking, paying attention, saying no to work one Sabbath day each week. Hanging laundry is setting up a prayer flag, for God's sake. Since Taylor, an Episcopal priest, no longer pastors a church, she can "do church" everywhere: in line at the grocery store interacting with the cashier, walking a moonlit path with her husband. Her candor is another of the book's virtues: she is a failure at prayer, and cannot explain why or how it is, or isn't, answered ("I do not know any way to talk about answered prayer without sounding like a huckster or a honeymooner"). Savor this book.
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
"Eat this book. And you will be satisfied. Here is a story of a life told with the clarity, beauty and honesty of a mountain stream. Barbara Brown Taylor describes doubt, faith, and vocation, their limits, and how the church both blesses and muddies the waters. Those who attend church, those who do not, and everyone in between will find here a feast, and the satisfaction of an eloquent voice speaking the truth." --Nora Gallagher, author of Practicing Resurrection
Home By Another Way
"Sermons have been thought of as an art form for a very long time, but rarely have they been pure storytelling. Stories have embellished sermons for a variety of reasons and in this way have served to edify, inform, and inspire. Professor/priest Barbara Brown Taylor has elevated the pure story form and given it a new place in the pulpit. And she does it with the skills required of storytellers. ...One would hope that this book will start a revolution in homiletics." --Christianity and the Arts
When God Is Silent
"This book should not be left to preachers alone; it is a handbook for those who hear the whisper of God and want to listen. It is a book about the fragility of our words and the depth of God's silence – and it is ultimately a book about the music that results from the crashing of our words against that silence of God to carry on its very failure some of the song of God's own music." --Bruce Jenneker, Cowley
Gospel Medicine (US: Cowley Publications, 1995; UK: The Healing Word, SPCK Publishing, 2013) Click here for image & description