Angela Kantola's Reviews > An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
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's review
Nov 20, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2011

This is a beautiful book -- another one borrowed from the library, but which I want to purchase. Brown discusses twelve spiritual practices, but as she says, each practice is "an exercise in being human that requires a body as well as a soul." From the introduction: "What is saving in my life now is the conviction that there is no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experiences of human life on earth. My life depends on engaging the most ordinary physical activities with the most exquisite attention I can give them. My life depends on ignoring all touted distinctions between the secular and the sacred, the physical and the spiritual, the body and the soul. What is saving in my life now is becoming more fully human, trusting that there is no way to God apart from real life in the real world."

About the greatest commandment, she says (p. 105): "The assignment is to get over your self. The assignment is to love the God you did not make up with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and the second is like unto it: to love the neighbor you also did not make up as if that person were your own strange and particular self. Do this, and the doing will teach you everything you need to know. Do this, and you will live."
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