“We have all heard that Jesus spoke more about money than sex,” said the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, Chautauqua’s chaplain for Week Two. “People have heard the passages I have chosen many times, especially during stewardship season. The bottom line is I chose the most famous passages about money and pulled them out of the giving season so we could look at them without the pressure on them.”
Taylor’s sermons this week will be reflections on the theme “Money and Power.” Taylor will preach at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning worship service in the Amphitheater. Her sermon title for Sunday is “The Cheap Cure.”
She will talk about her life at Vespers at 5 p.m. Sunday in the Hall of Philosophy.
“The trouble with telling you about my faith journey is that I have told it a lot of times by now,” Taylor said at Vespers in 2012. “I told it at my baptism at age 16, to lots of boyfriends in college, to the committee that gave me a scholarship to go to seminary, to the seminary admissions committee, to several ordination committees. I have been to Chautauqua five times. The trouble with putting these stories in print is that you have to tell them the same way twice. People will notice if you change details.”
Her sermon titles for the morning worship services at 9:15 a.m. Monday through Friday in the Amphitheater include “Rich in Love,” “The Widow’s Might,” “The Parable of the Fearful Investor,” “Divine Forgetfulness” and “The Politics of Opposition.”
“I chose the passage from Deuteronomy because it is in the daily prayer lectionary cycle of the Episcopal church and has one especially overlooked verse,” Taylor said about Thursday’s sermon, “Divine Forgetfulness.” “I am not going to give away what it is, but I think it informs Jesus’ teaching. Jesus was the consummate rabbi, he knew scripture by heart even if he did not quote all of it. I want to pick up a piece of his bible.”
In 2014, Taylor was named in Time magazine’s annual 100 list of most influential people in the world. An Episcopal priest since 1984, Taylor is the author of 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller An Altar in the World. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, received the 2006 award for Best General Interest Book from the Association of Theological Booksellers. Her 2014 book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, was on the New York Times best-seller list and was featured on the cover of Time. It was also an Indie Next List pick, one of Publishers Weekly’s five Best Religion Books for 2014, and received the Living Now Book Award in 2015.
Taylor, who holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Emory University and a master’s in divinity from Yale Divinity School, is the Butman Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Piedmont College in Georgia. Currently, she is is working on a new book, tentatively titled Holy Envy. It is a classroom memoir about teaching world religions at Piedmont College.
“It is about interfaith encounters, but I wanted it to be a small voice, not a large one,” Taylor said. “I wanted to love my students in public.”