Holy Envy

Holy Envy

Finding God in the Faith of Others

Book - 2019
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New York Times Bestseller

The renowned and beloved New York Times bestselling author of An Altar in the World and Learning to Walk in the Dark recounts her moving discoveries of finding the sacred in unexpected places while teaching the world's religions to undergraduates in rural Georgia, revealing how God delights in confounding our expectations.

Barbara Brown Taylor continues her spiritual journey begun in Leaving Church of finding out what the world looks like after taking off her clergy collar. In Holy Envy, she contemplates the myriad ways other people and traditions encounter the Transcendent, both by digging deeper into those traditions herself and by seeing them through her students' eyes as she sets off with them on field trips to monasteries, temples, and mosques.

Troubled and inspired by what she learns, Taylor returns to her own tradition for guidance, finding new meaning in old teachings that have too often been used to exclude religious strangers instead of embracing the divine challenges they present. Re-imagining some central stories from the religion she knows best, she takes heart in how often God chooses outsiders to teach insiders how out-of-bounds God really is.

Throughout Holy Envy, Taylor weaves together stories from the classroom with reflections on how her own spiritual journey has been complicated and renewed by connecting with people of other traditions--even those whose truths are quite different from hers. The one constant in her odyssey is the sense that God is the one calling her to disown her version of God--a change that ultimately enriches her faith in other human beings and in God.

Publisher: San Francisco :, HarperOne,, 2019
ISBN: 9780062406569
Branch Call Number: 261.2092 TAY

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book1fan
Nov 22, 2019

In mid-paragraph on page 105 in the chapter titled, "Disowning God", I found this comment by Barbara Brown Taylor that is one example of the author's spiritual depth and insight of Christianity. At least, it certainly ministered to this reader:

"When I [Barbara Brown Taylor] run into a hard corner of Christian thinking about the subordination of women, I remember that the angel Gabriel did not ask Mary's father if it would be all right for her to bear a son out of wedlock; Gabriel asked her."

f
feralranger
Apr 14, 2019

I use to work in an organization that required me to be neutral regarding the “big” issues, politics and religion and other biggies. That was a good thing because in my heart I cared very much about things and I appreciated being able to let them go when encountering those not like minded or even working alongside people who expressed diehard views. I’ve not been a believer in absolutes for a very long time. I think the first time I read the saying “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing!” set my ego on a more interesting path.
We miss so much when we persist in reducing everything to our own frame of reference.
I like to read about people who are open enough to look beyond all those limitations religions can put in our way and also accept the basic good in the structure of religion too. Barbara Brown Taylor is one of those people. She is intelligent and thoughtful and unafraid to allow herself to know less than she thought she knew!
Holy envy is fascinating and entertaining.
I think it is an especially good book for folks who believe in a God, who believe in the Gods, who don’t believe, who are half-assed believers, who think science explains everything, who think they know better, who think those who believe in God are lesser then and for those who believe in God and think everyone else should too.

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