Altar in the World, An: A Geography of Faith

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9780061370465: Altar in the World, An: A Geography of Faith

The prize winning writer Barbara Brown Taylor opens this stunningly beautiful book by considering a comment that many people make today, 'I'm not really religious but I am spiritual.' While they will often go to extraordinary lengths in search of a 'spiritual experience' she shows that the stuff of our everyday lives is a holy ground where we can encounter God at every turn. For her, as for Jacob in the Genesis story that opens this book, even barren, empty deserts can become 'the house of God and the gate of heaven' - places where a ladder of angels connects heaven to earth and earth to heaven. Our lives are full of such meeting places. In simple practices such as walking, working, resting and waking, Taylor reveals concrete ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see. Our vision of the world and of ourselves is renewed and transformed. This ancient spiritual understanding is found throughout the Bible, in Celtic and other great spiritual traditions. As it is explored afresh for our own times we discover that no physical act is too earthbound or too humble to become a path to the divine.

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From the Back Cover:

In her critically acclaimed Leaving Church ("a beautiful, absorbing memoir"—The Dallas Morning News), Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about her experience leaving full-time ministryto become a professor, a decision that stretched the boundaries of her faith. Now, in her stunning follow-up, An Altar in the World, she shares how she learned to encounter God far beyond the walls of the church.

Taylor reveals meaningful ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see, from simple practices such as walking, working, and prayer. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of meditation if we pay attention to what we're doing and take time to notice the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true human connection. Allowing yourself to get lost leads to new discoveries. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do. Through Taylor's expert guidance and delicate, thought-provoking prose, we learn to live with purpose, pay attention, slow down, and revere the world we live in.

About the Author:

Barbara Brown Taylor is a priest in the Episcopal church and the author of twelve books which have been showered with awards. She is on the Board of Advisors of Yale Divinity School

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