Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others

Adult Education Topical Book Study: Sundays, April 19 through May 31, at 9:45 a.m.

On Sunday, April 19, a new Adult Christian Education class will begin. We will study and discuss the book Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Elder Sharon A. Taylor

The author, an Episcopal priest and college professor of religion, is a bestselling author, speaker, and preacher. In her latest book, 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.

You can read more about how she came to write this book in this interview.

I encourage everyone with an interest in relating to other religions, especially those who have already read the book, to come and join in the discussion. If you don’t have a copy of the book, you can order it in either paperback or Kindle editions through Amazon by clicking here.

Elder Sharon A. Taylor

Note: This study will meet virtually via Zoom videoconferencing until further notice due to the COVID-19 countermeasures. Click here to connect remotely on Sundays at 9:45 a.m., beginning Sunday, April 19, through Sunday, May 31.

See the full schedule of other studies you are invited to join.

About Holy Envy

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.

About the Author

Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church (2006), won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Her thirteenth book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (2014), was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. 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. Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercer University and lives on a working farm in rural northeast Georgia with her husband, Ed.