Episcopal priest, professor, theologian and author Barbara Brown Taylor, joins us on Nomad. In the early 2000s Barbara left the ministry, an experience she described in Leaving Church, the first of a trilogy of books about redefining her faith. But it’s what Barbara got up to after church leadership that we want to talk about.
Barbara spent 20 years teaching world religions, and forming relationships with local leaders from a variety of other faiths, a journey which she describe in her latest book Holy Envy. So we quiz Barbara on what she’s learnt about finding God in the faiths of others.
After the interview Nomad hosts David Blower, Jemimah McAlpine and Tim Nash reflect on Barbara’s journey and chat about what the lessons she’s learnt might mean for their own evolving faith.
Interview starts at 18m 16s
“One thing I always ask a community is, ‘What would I have to do to get kicked out of your community?’ And they’ll say, ‘Well, what do you mean?!’ And I say, ‘Well, if there’s nothing I could do to get kicked out, then what does it mean to be in communion with you?’
“I do – when I read the New Testament stories about Jesus – see him quite often interacting with religious strangers with no requirement they become other than who they are. I think we put spins on the stories about him that make it sound that way. But I’m a biblical scholar, and I don’t find it there when I actually crawl through the text. So, I still feel pretty Christian in all this; that Christianity may be the way that’s open to all other ways if we can learn how to be better theologians and biblical readers about that.”