Book Study Group

“An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith”

by Barbara Brown Taylor


In An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith , Barbara Brown 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.

Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church , won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006. Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list. Currently, An Altar in the World is the #1 Bestseller in Episcopalian Christianity on Amazon.com. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014, TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy , was released by HarperOne in March 2019.

Schedule of Classes

September 12- Introduction, “Chapter 1: The Practice of Waking Up to God- Vision” and “Chapter 2: The Practice of Paying Attention- Reverence”

September 19- Second Gathering, “Chapter 3: The Practice of Wearing Skin- Incarnation” and “Chapter 4: The Practice of Walking on the Earth- Groundedness”

September 26- Third Gathering, “Chapter 5: The Practice of Getting Lost- Wilderness” and “Chapter 6: The Practice of Encountering Others- Community”

October 3- Fourth Gathering, “Chapter 7: The Practice of Living with Purpose- Vocation” and “Chapter 8:The Practice of Saying No- Sabbath”

October 10- Fifth Gathering, “Chapter 9: The Practice of Carrying Water- Physical Labor” and “Chapter 10: The Practice of Feeling Pain- Breakthrough”

October 17- Sixth and Final Gathering, “Chapter 11: The Practice of Being Present to God- Prayer” and “Chapter 12: The Practice of Pronouncing Blessings- Benediction”


The book can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.