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An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith von [Taylor, Barbara Brown]
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An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith Kindle Edition

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“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.” (

“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)


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.

The eBook includes a special excerpt from Barbara Brown Taylor's Learning to Walk in the Dark.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 933 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 244 Seiten
  • Verlag: HarperOne; Auflage: Reprint (6. März 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B001NLKXU2
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #516.716 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?


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Format: Taschenbuch
This is a book about "grounded" spirituality which for me was the most useful guide that I have found in the last years.Altar in the World
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen 327 Rezensionen
218 von 220 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Getting To "No": The Joy Of Reading Barbara Brown Taylor 14. Februar 2009
Von Foster Corbin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest, professor of religion, and author of LEAVING CHURCH, a book that resonated with many of us, in her latest work, AN ALTAR IN THE WORLD, does what she does so well: she gives advice and counsel to those both inside and outside the church on how to become more human and have a richer spiritual life. She reminds us that we need not travel to the shrines of seers in foreign lands but rather that we cannot see the red X that will free us because we are standing on it. In 12 chapters the author covers vision, reference, the Sabbath, physical labor, vocation, prayer-- a different topic for each chapter. One of the things so endearing about Taylor's writing is that she is so brutally honest about herself, revealing details about her life that many people would never talk about: that she shakes hands like a man, that she may like Bombay Sapphire gin martinis too much, that she is a "rotten" godmother, for instance. The most surprising thing I learned about her is that Taylor considers herself an introvert. I would never have suspected that. In addition to her forthrightness, Taylor, an English major somewhere in her studies, always writes eloquently so it is easy to wallow in her words. She is just as much at home quoting Wendell Berry or Rumi as the Old Testament character Job. There are so many beautiful passages here chockfull of truths: her account of when she was seven, watching falling stars with her father from whom she learned reverence as well as her description of the first church she loved, in the Ohio countryside, where the pastor "was the first adult who looked me in the eyes and listened to what I said. He was the first to tuck God's pillow under my head." (You can tip your hat to that image as it is so beautiful!) Many of us were fortunate to have such a person in our lives as well. And we could pick out of a church lineup-- or maybe not-- the lone woman Taylor encountered polishing silver in the sacristy at a church in Alabama merely by Taylor's description of her as a "pulled-together woman."

Although the author gives a whole litany of the things that Episcopalians bless ("The Episcopalins are fools for blessing things"), she left off pets and fleets of ships. (I'm not sure, however, that I'm ready to bless my bathroom or read a poem aloud to a tree yet.) But Taylor is not about words but practices, encouraging her readers to get off the porch-- except on Sabbath-- and do something. She is dead on in her comments that we should at least make eye contact with the grocery store cashier (we don't have to invite her to dinner) and learn to say "no," in my favorite chapter: "The Practice of Saying No: Sabbath." Her admonishment that we do absolutely nothing on the Sabbath, not even driving our cars or turning on our computers, is well worth trying to do. We are so busy that we miss what is really important. Finally, Taylor via Brother David Steindl-Rast, an Austrian Benedictine, "recognizes the sacramental value of a homegrown tomato sandwich." For that statement alone, they both can be my spiritual advisors.

Whether you worship within a community or, in the words of Emily Dickinson, "keep the Sabbath staying at home"-- or keep the Sabbath not at all-- you will find much truth here, that if followed, should make you come closer to being a human being, or as Taylor says, "should "give you more meaning, more feeling, more connection, more life."

AN ALTAR IN THE WORLD cries out to be mulled over again and again. Of course reading this writer is always a joy.
86 von 87 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen An uncomfortable glimpse at the subjective turn in spirituality 13. Januar 2014
Von Will Barto - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
The author is a well-known Episcopal priest, teacher, and author. She was recognized in 1996 by Baylor University as one of the most effective preachers in the English-speaking world and received the Emory medal in 1998 for distinguished achievement in education. She is a remarkable story-teller and I have always enjoyed her sermons.

Her most recent writings have a very different feel to them and are more like collections of essays than the sermon collections of the past. Taylor wrote a memoir of her shift from parish ministry to teaching in a book entitled “Leaving Church,” and her latest work is “An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.” These later works seem to target the “spiritual but not religious” segment of the reading public and are filled with the same skilled prose that marked her earlier writings.

“An Altar in the World” reviews a variety of spiritual practices with the laudable goal of showing the reader that “the treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company.” For the author, “there is no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experiences of human life on the earth.” She states, “If you have run out of breath yourself—or out of faith—then this book is for you.” Her hope for the book is that it will help the reader “recognize some of the altars in this world—ordinary looking places where human beings have met and may continue to meet up with the divine More that they sometimes call God.”

Taylor is very comfortable writing about themes in spirituality from a progressive viewpoint. In an interview given in 2000, she observed, “I am on the edge of Christianity, and I expect to get a letter telling me I’ve been kicked out any day. But my choice, at this point in my life, is to practice the religion of Jesus instead of the religion about Jesus.” And yet I perceive that by moving to what she calls the “edge” she has lost some of her distinctive voice and fallen in with the largely homogenized voices of progressive Christianity. By striving to become edgy she has become—somewhat ironically—conventional.

I think that a certain text from this work provides a litmus test of how you will feel about the book. Take a look at the following extract from the essay, “The Practice of Wearing Skin”:

“One of the most remarkable conversations I have ever had about the physics of divine love took place in a far country, where a male colleague and I were involved in a month-long service project. We were done with our work for the day. We were enjoying a good dinner over a bottle of equally good wine. After two glasses of it, the conversation turned to our physical attraction—not for each other, but for God. Sometimes, he said, when he was preaching a sermon he really cared about, he grew so aware of God’s presence that he became physically aroused. He rose to God’s presence as to the presence of the Beloved. His sense of spiritual intimacy flowed straight into his sense of physical intimacy. They were not two but one. He was not two but one. He and God were not two but one.

“Inspired by his divine audacity, I allowed as how I had experienced the same thing myself, although with different physical equipment. Sometimes when I was praying, my body could not tell the difference between that and making love. Every cell in my body rose to the occasion, so that I felt the prayer prick my breasts and warm my belly, lifting every hair on my body in full alert. Body and soul were not two but one. I was not two but one. God and I were not two but one.”

If you find this passage to be exciting and in the best tradition of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, then I think that you will like this book very much. If you are more skeptical about this bit of sharing and think it has more in common with “Eat, Pray, Love,” than with the biblical spirituality of, for example, the Song of Songs, then I recommend that you skip this book in favor of the author’s earlier work.

My goal for this review is to alert the potential reader of this book that the author is in a very different place than when we first met her in “The Preaching Life” or “When God was Silent,” and I am not yet persuaded that this represents a good change. I, for one, lament the loss of the “homiletical restraint” espoused in the author’s earlier work. I know that I am swimming upstream with this review! If you are tempted to move the cursor toward a “not helpful” vote for this review, please consider leaving a comment instead and begin a conversation with me about this author. Or do both. I frequently revise my reviews in light of reader comments and welcome the interaction.
84 von 85 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Spiritual Practices for Everyone 24. Februar 2009
Von Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In recent years, Christians have become more aware that theirs is a faith based in practices--the things we do in the world for the sake of God's beauty, justice and love. In this book, Barbara Brown Taylor opens the language of practice to extend far beyond the walls of the church and directs us to the practices that frame everyday human experience. She finds the divine in all things and invites her readers to intentionally participate in the interplay of the sacred in daily life. In many ways, it is a contemporary version of Brother Lawrence's classic book, "Practicing the Presence of God." As such, Barbara Brown Taylor models how theological reflection is not an arcane or ivory tower exercise. Rather, thinking theologically about our bodies, the ground on which we walk, the laundry that we do, is a holy calling for all people. This is a lovely book, one well-suited for personal growth and for reading groups.
154 von 163 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen "welcome to your own priesthood" 22. Mai 2009
Von Daniel B. Clendenin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In her memoir called Leaving Church; A Memoir of Faith (2006), Barbara Brown Taylor told her story of how after ministering for nine years on the staff of a large Episcopal church in urban Atlanta, where she had lived half of her adult life, she moved to Clarkesville in northeast Georgia, a town of 1,500 people and two stoplights. The prospect of serving Grace-Calvary Episcopal with its tiny sanctuary that seated 85 people was a dream come true for her, or so she thought. Her passion and competence spelled success, and after five years the church had expanded to four Sunday services. In the process she nearly lost her soul, and so she resigned, left church, and in 1998 took an endowed chair of religion at nearby Piedmont College. Since then she has lived with her husband on a working farm, become a regular speaker of note on the Christian circuit, and continued to write.

For those who might wonder, Taylor might have left church but she has by no means left the faith, and in this book she self-identifies as a Christian. This is an important point because her newest book is not exactly or particularly Christian. This is not a criticism but a simple observation. One of her goals is to abolish the distinctions we make between church and world, sacred and secular, spirit and flesh, body and soul. Any place or thing can mediate the sacred, and so we can make an altar in the world as well as in the church. Taylor draws upon her Christian experiences and tradition, but she also incorporates her knowledge and expertise from having taught a world religions course at Piedmont College for ten years--the Buddhist Eight-Fold Path, the Muslim notion of pilgrimage, rabbinic wisdom from Judaism, or the Sufi mystic poet Rumi. She uses the word "God," but also a semantic range of synonyms like the Real, the Really Real, the Sacred, the Holy, and the divine More.

From these sources and her own experiences Taylor commends twelve spiritual practices, but to call them "spiritual" can be misleading, for most of all she commends a fleshly, embodied spirituality. She writes one chapter each on vision, reverence, incarnation, groundedness, wilderness, community, vocation, sabbath, physical labor, breakthrough, prayer, and benediction. Taylor's book raised a cluster of interesting questions for me. Does an authentic Christian life look any different than a Muslim or Buddhist or deeply spiritual atheist? Should it? Beyond obvious similarities, what are the significant differences? People who follow these twelve spiritual practices will live richer lives, and if that's the case then what, exactly, does the Gospel offer them? More of the same, or something that they cannot hope for anywhere else? I appreciate whatever intention Taylor had to write a "cross-over" book to people who want to be spiritual but not religious, but in the end I wondered if this was just another self-help book by a deeply Christian pilgrim. "Welcome to your own priesthood," she says in her introduction, "practiced at the altar of your own life."
40 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Spiritual Classic to Be Read Again and Again 10. März 2009
Von O. Merce Brown - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is probably the most beautiful book about spirituality I have ever read. The experience of moving through the gorgeous, delicious writing was pure joy. I cried at the end. I was profoundly moved.

The book discusses and the spiritual practices of living, of being alive, in a way that will speak to people of any and every faith, and most especially to people who are more spiritual than religious. Each chapter is a separate essay that can stand alone---written on such things as the Practice of Wearing Skin, the Practice of Getting Lost, the Practice of Pronouncing Blessings, and so much more.

This book will woo you away from being dry and dead and and stuck and bored and open you to being more alive. I seldom say this with such certainty, but I know that it will do the same for you.

Highest recommendation.
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