From an early age, Barbara Brown Taylor knew that she wanted to live a spiritual life.

"It started early in my life," she says, "a hunger for the beyond, for the transcendent, for the light within the light, the glow within the grass, the sparkle within the water."

Taylor went on to become an ordained Episcopal priest, working as rector of a church. But she later left her job with the church and began teaching the world's religions at Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga.

As part of the course, Taylor invited members of different faiths into the classroom to share their beliefs. She also brought her students, who were mostly Christian, to mosques, synagogues and Buddhist and Hindu temples in an effort to help them better understand how various groups worship.

"I hoped it would be a way to convince [the students] that they could find things they liked about other traditions, and it would not make them disloyal to their own," Taylor says. "And it worked most of the time."

Taylor writes about how teaching the different religions changed her students' understanding of faith — as well as her own — in her new memoir, Holy Envy. She says the name of the book comes from her own experiences with different faiths.

"I would walk in and immediately find something to fall in love with," she says. "The beauty of the space, the tenor of the discourse, the teacher for the evening, the hospitality we were offered. I ended up being just bowled over by the beauty and kindness that I encountered every place I went. "
This is a lovely interview conducted by Terry Gross for her outstanding NPR series, Fresh Air.

For Priest Turned Professor, 'Holy Envy' Is Key To Appreciating World Religions — Terry Gross

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/11/70217...orld-religions