Learning to Walk in the Dark

Learning to Walk in the Dark

by Barbara Brown Taylor

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062024343
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/24/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 28,678
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Barbara Brown Taylor is the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller An Altar in the World and Leaving Church, which received an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Taylor is the Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, where she has taught since 1998. She lives on a working farm in rural northeast Georgia with her husband, Ed.


Barbara Brown Taylor is the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller An Altar in the World and Leaving Church, which received an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Taylor is the Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, where she has taught since 1998. She lives on a working farm in rural northeast Georgia with her husband, Ed.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Treasures of Darkness 1

1 Who's Afraid of the Dark? 19

2 The Fear of the Lord 39

3 Hampered by Brilliance 59

4 The Dark Emotions 73

5 The Eyes of the Blind 91

6 Entering the Stone 111

7 The Dark Night of the Soul 133

8 Working with Darkness 149

9 Our Lady of the Underground 165

Epilogue: Blessing the Day 183

Acknowledgments 189

Notes 193

Sources 197

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Learning to Walk in the Dark 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
KitCatCF More than 1 year ago
I found this book refreshing, inspiring, and comforting. The author's use of imagery of darkness, both physical and spiritual, opened up my mind, heart, and soul in a way that light never could. I loved it so much that I loaned it to my pastor as soon as I finished it. I want to read more by Barbara Brown Taylor.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
Reading Rev. Taylor’s words is an opportunity to sit with a person who: witnesses life (including her own), allows the truth of what she sees to Be, is able to translate that witness into a coherent narrative, then speaks that truth to the heart of her present time.  If this sounds like a definition of a Prophet, it is both accurate and applicable to this bright, curious, brave, inviting and truth-telling Pastor whose parish has become those who inhabit her physical orbit or who read her words. To be more specific, Barbara Brown Taylor has lived enough life to no longer care about the “correct” answers, she is learning to sit with the questions as if they were teachers.  This book is the next installment of chronicles in her journey of her rediscovery of what it means to “believe.” In developing the structure of the work, Rev. Taylor follows a cycle of the moon, beginning and ending with that celestial body in its “full” phase.  She uses astronomy, theology, folklore, myth and an amazing number of other sources to explore “dark” and “darkness.” She speaks to the possibility that “Dark” has gotten an unearned reputation as the host and representative of evil. The book is an exploration of how that reputation has developed and looks deeply at the benefits of darkness. From the near darkness of a full moon to the absolute dark of a cave, she is able to “lead a discussion” of possible definition of darkness, how we are affected by that dark and that definition and allows space enough for the reader to “learn” how different the world is when there is less light in their world. There is so much richness to be found within this books’ pages that the reader needs to be careful not to read too much of it too quickly or find that they have too much to digest in one sitting. She asks the reader to consider their relationship with “darkness” in ways that lead to meaningful confrontation of one’s Self.  “. . . our comfort or discomfort with the outer dark is a good indicator of how we feel about the inner kind.” (p.60). “. . . it is sometimes hard to tell whether you are being killed or saved by the hands that turn your life upside down.” (p.67) “Sight and sound . . . . If I do not limit their access to me, I will grow such thick callouses that I am no longer capable of seeing or hearing things that really matter” (p.93). It bears being reminded that the author is speaking of learning to walk in the dark. The level of intimacy in this book is astonishing. I could find no instance of “other” language – each word was offered as if she and I were sharing a cup of tea, speaking of personal experiences so close and secret that they are recognized as treasures jointly discovered.  Her gift of taking such intimate material and making them immediate to the reader adds to the feeling of “shared moments” found regularly throughout the book. Her experiences became part of me as she spoke of family camping trips, spelunking adventures, reflections of life that too easily pass by. Such “present-ness” can (were) be too close, hence the need for frequent breaks for reflection and breathing. I will be reading this book for some time to come.  There is still so much I need to learn about walking in the dark.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed all the research that Barbara put into this book. Organ Cave walk was so interesting. It gave me a whole other perspective on being in the dark and darkness as opposed to being in the light. A welcome read. I had read Barbara's memoir, Leaving Church, which I liked very much. I would like to read her "An Altar in the World" next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, Taylor talks about a wide variety of kinds of darkness and uses of the word darkness in perception, in psychology and in matters of faith and belief. With our excellent leader, a minister, we engaged in meaningful discussion of the book and of our own ideas, experiences, and beliefs as brought to mind by the book. The discussion was far more interesting and helpful to me than the book, but that discussion would not have happened if we had not read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been afraid of the dark until now. This book is a must read and a definite eye opener. I love this book. 
Library_ladyLNU More than 1 year ago
If you have ever been fearful of the dark or worried about what may be in the dark, Barbara Brown Taylor has written a book that is worth your time to read and ponder. She says that in this world of bright, shiny things, when sunny and radiant are the exemplars of what is good and “right,” we may well be overlooking an important alternate way to view the matter. Prof. Taylor points out that many of the most profound experiences that are presented in religion, literature and real life often occur in the dark—or at least what most of us think of as “the dark.” This is a work that is worthy of multiple readings both to savor the author’s glorious use of language and to contemplate the many profound thoughts that she offers. A useful Bibliography for further reading and study is presented at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how Barbara Taylor talks about what she went through and how it is that you shouldn't be afraid of the dark. Very inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I learned that life is hard.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago