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An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 244 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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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.” (ChristianityToday.com )

“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 )

Product Description

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.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 933 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (March 6 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKXU2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,704 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
Like a previous reviewer I looked for this book at my local library after hearing the author on CBC's Tapestry. Having read the book I now plan to buy a copy so I can lend it to friends.
Her style is feminine in an earthy, connected, quietly confident kind of way and the thoughts those of someone who seems to have gained a kind of peaceful wisdom that most of us seek. There are touches of Annie Dillard, Anne Lamott, Henri Nouwen.
I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard about this book during an interview with the author on the CBC radio program "Tapestry". Barbara Brown Taylor so impressed me with her perspective on faith that I went and ordered the book the next day. Reading this book was like talking to a good friend about all the things that really matter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have long known Barbara Brown Taylor to be a superb writer, able to engage readers and feed them good solid food. Altar in the World is no exception. This is a book that speaks with equal power and insight to the devoted believer and to the confused seeker. There is profound wisdom in each chapter, presented in unpretentious language and extremely accessible images and stories.

Altar in the World is a good "one sitting" read, as well as a bedside reflection book. Would that more religious writers could shift into non-religious mode to draw people into spiritual reflection as well as this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book, the author Barbara Brown Taylor is so down to earth & describes her feelings with such honesty. I used it with a discussion group & most seemed to get a great deal of food for thought & ideas to discuss. We do need to make our faith real in our own reality not just keeping it in our Church world & in our minds. Worshipping God needs to have a practical side & this book helps one to see that.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have a close circle of friends that has been slowly growing over the years. They are the authors who have been given a unique gift of challenging my mind but also penetrating my heart. George McDonald, Dallas Willard, Henry Nouwen, Gerald May, Richard Rohr . . . This list is growing because today I add one more friend to this circle: Barbara Brown Taylor.

I just finished her trilogy that began with Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith and concluded with Learning to Walk in the Dark. An Altar in the World is the middle book and is on contemplative spiritual practices.

What I like most about Barbara is her humanity, her humility, and her honesty. Take for example her confession at the beginning of her chapter on prayer: "I know that a chapter on prayer belongs in this book, but I dread writing it. I have shelves full of prayer books and books on prayer. I have file drawers full of notes from courses I have taught and taken on prayer. I have meditation benches I have used twice, prayer mantras I have intoned for as long as a week, notebooks with column after column of the names of people in need of prayer (is writing them down enough?) . . . . I am a failure at prayer".

Another thing I have strongly valued in Barbara's writings is her knack for bridging the artificial gap between spiritual and natural. Her titles for the various chapters on spiritual practices successfully incorporates this non-dualistic truth.

This allows her to include some spiritual practices that many would never consider to be spiritual practices. Take for example her chapter on "The Practice of Getting Lost". Do you remember the bumper sticker back in the 70s: "I found it"?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend and I discussed this book chapter by chapter - they were lively and interesting discussions! Very insightful. Barbara Taylor's thoughts are much needed in a world hungary for compassion and understanding our differences. Appreciated her inclusion of all the world's religions.
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