Recently, I listened to NPR’s Fresh Air host Terri Gross interview Barbara Brown Taylor regarding her recent book Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith. It was an interesting interview. Based on that interview, the book seems misleadingly named. Taylor has not left the church in the sense of surrendering her ordination credentials, nor has she denounced her faith or her participation in a church on Sundays. This is about her decision to leave pastoral ministry, not church or ministry altogether. That said, with the proliferation of articles and findings last spring about the drop in persons moving into or sticking with pastoral ministry, her book would seem to be a significant contribution from an acclaimed writer. Though I haven’t read her yet, I have added this book to my reading list.
You can listen to the Fresh Air interview here.
Here’s a review of her book I read in the United Methodist Reporter (scroll down and click on “Pastor Commens: Another One Bites the Dust”), one by Lauren Winner in the Dallas Morning News, and an old Christian Century article by Taylor from 1999 not long after she left the pastorate to teach at a college.