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

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
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Nov 04, 09

bookshelves: faith-and-spirituality-resources, non-fiction, revgalblogpals
Read in November, 2009

Although I didn't get hold of the book in time to join the online discussion, An Altar in the World was recommended to me by the http://RevGalBlogPals.blogspot.com group. I wasn't completely sure about reading it, as I had very mixed feelings about Barbara Brown Taylor's previous book, Leaving Church. But in this newer book, Taylor seems to have become much more grounded than she seemed in Leaving Church, so I guess her decision to leave parish ministry was the right one for her and for us, her readers.

An Altar in the World is a series of chapter-length essays on spiritual practice, and most of them are not about what we usually think of as spiritual practices. Each chapter has a title and a subtitle. The subtitles are philosophical/religious sounding words like Vision, Reverence, Incarnation, Vocation. But the titles include phrases like "Waking Up to God," "Wearing Skin," "Walking on the Earth," "Getting Lost." True to the titles, Taylor expertly connects the humble or mundane -- a growling stomach, a walk in the dark, scrubbing toilets -- to scriptural wisdom from her own and other traditions.

This is not a workbook (being somebody who has a whole collection of "How to Be Perfect" books, I sort of wish it were). But it is a book that will give you work to do in the quest to connect to God, to others, and to your own spirituality. I recommend it highly.
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