A while back, our co-host Carl McColman was impressed by a preacher he heard in Atlanta. In his words:
Back in the spring of 1988, I was living in Atlanta and on occasion would worship at All Saints’ Episcopal Church near the campus of Georgia Tech. On more than one occasion, I was impressed by the preaching of one of the associate priests on staff, the Reverend Barbara Brown Taylor. I never joined that church, and I don’t know that I ever even spoke to Taylor, but I remembered her — so that when, almost a decade later, Baylor University published a list of the 12 most effective preachers in the United States, I was not surprised to see Barbara Brown Taylor on the list.
Barbara Brown Taylor went from “renowned preacher” to “best-selling author” when her memoir about leaving parish ministry to become a college professor, Leaving Church, was met with widespread acclaim. Subsequent books like An Altar in the World, Learning to Walk in the Dark, and Holy Envy have all earned places on the New York Times Bestseller list. In 1997 she delivered a series of lectures on the art of preaching at Yale Divinity School, later published under the title When God is Silent. Her most recent book, Always a Guest, was published in October 2020 by Westminster John Knox Press.
This is part one of a two part episode. To hear part two, click here.
Silence is a love language. — Barbara Brown Taylor
Barbara Brown Taylor has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Emory University, Mercer University, Columbia Seminary, Oblate School of Theology, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. She has won numerous awards, including twice being named the Georgia Author of the Year in the category of inspirational writing. She lives on a farm in north Georgia with her husband.
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
- Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church
- Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World
- Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
- Barbara Brown Taylor, Holy Envy
- Barbara Brown Taylor, When God is Silent
- Barbara Brown Taylor, Always a Guest
- Barbara Brown Taylor, The Luminous Web
- The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings
- Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why
- Carl McColman, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism
- Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus
- Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix
Episode 130: Silence, Vulnerability and Love: A Conversation with Barbara Brown Taylor (Part One)
Hosted by: Carl McColman
With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson
Date Recorded: March 1, 2021