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Featured Book: Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith


“Hello, I’m Barbara Brown Taylor. I say things you’re not supposed to say.” It’s with these words that the “spiritual contrarian” [her words] welcomes you to her website. And one of the things she wasn’t supposed to say is “goodbye” to ministry. She recounts her breakout—an “often-painful, if ultimately redemptive, journey away from pastoring,” according to Religious News Service—in her award-winning book, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith.

“A widely-acclaimed preacher, Taylor draws on her homiletical skills in this finely crafted memoir,” Publishers Weekly enthuses, describing it as the “rich evocation of her lifelong love affair with God.” She is, Image affirms, “distinguished by an elegance of thought and depth of soul befitting a spiritual sage. …Taylor is a master rhetorician whose work confirms that the simple act of bearing witness can be a high art.”

A Yale Divinity School alumna, she served two Episcopal congregations in Georgia before opting out, to become professor of religion and philosophy at Piedmont College. Known for “her prowess in the pulpit,” as RNS puts it, she, in 2015, was named Georgia Woman of the Year. The year before, Time named her to its annual list of the 100 most influential people.

Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
By Barbara Brown Taylor
HarperOne, 2012 (originally published in 2006)

The previous featured book, God has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time, by Desmond Tutu, is now available in the Library.