The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Learning to Walk in the Dark

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Barbara Brown Taylor, a former parish pastor and religion professor at Piedmont College, Demorest, Ga., observes: “In this culture, darkness has gotten a bad rep with children frightened of monsters under their beds and millions of Christians unsettled by images of God in the Bible plunging the world into darkness and chaos. And others are paying a high price for their fear of the dark — sleep deprivation, anxieties about being a victim of a dreadful crime.” In a series of wise and enlightening chapters, Taylor shares her informal study of those who have worked with darkness, including Miriam Greenspan, Jacques Lusseyran, John of the Cross, Gerald May and Mother Teresa. The author has some interesting things to say about the Black Madonna, healing through the dark emotions, dining in the dark, the night sky and the moon.

Taylor’s book models the faith, courage, and creativity and playfulness it takes to walk in the dark without fear or dismay. She is grateful to have discovered a potpourri of Bible stories that happen after dark, a new set of teachers to usher her around in unfamiliar places, and a deeper reverence of the mysteries that accompany God’s presence and absence (HarperOne).


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