An Altar in the World: A Geography of FaithAn Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Barbara Brown Taylor is our twenty-first century Henri Nouwen. I'm immensely grateful for AN ALTAR IN THE WORLD, for its elegant, lively prose, yes, but mostly for its practical application of a big-hearted faith. In the prologue, Taylor writes, "What is saving 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." This is a profoundly feminine perspective, and profoundly Christian. Later she writes that we don't want more ABOUT God, we want MORE GOD. I love how clearly she articulates the earthly practices by which more God comes into the world, staying rooted in exquisite theology and translating these beliefs for the mundane moments of our days.

This book models for me how powerful spiritual and theological reflections can become when they are grounded in personal narrative. Taylor's every abstract pronouncement about God has its origins in her own experience. The bridge she constructs between life and faith is then strong enough for me to cross as well.

I am happy for practices that bring me back to my body, where the operative categories are not “bad” and “good” but “dead” and “alive.”
--Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, 47

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Published on April 23, 2012 07:13 • 131 views • Tags: essays, faith, spirituality

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