Dec. 20, 2013
Noted author, Emory alumna and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor joined Candler School of Theology for the fall semester as the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture. During her tenure as McDonald Chair, Taylor gave three major public addresses, which are all available in both audio and video formats via the links below.
At Home with Uncertainty
Taylor was the featured speaker at Candler’s fall convocation, where she delivered a sermon titled “At Home with Uncertainty,” based on Matthew 6:25-34. In it, she encouraged the student body to approach the unknown of their chosen vocation with confidence.
“Here you are—interesting, unusual, and brave—ready to serve up living water in any vessel of God’s own choosing. That you are willing to spread this word and live this life in an anxious, anxious world is the best possible news.”
Watch the video of “At Home with Uncertainty.”
Learning to Walk in the Dark
The first of her two public McDonald lectures, “Learning to Walk in the Dark” took place September 26 at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on Emory’s campus.
Taylor addressed a crowd of more than 1,000, exploring life’s physical, spiritual and metaphysical “darkness,” and suggesting that light without dark is only half the picture.
"To be human is to live by sunlight and moonlight. It is to live with anxiety and delight. Admitting limits and transcending them. Falling down and rising up. To want a life with only half of those things in it is to want half a life."
The Virtuous Preacher
Taylor’s second McDonald lecture, “The Virtuous Preacher,” was held at Candler on October 30. Her remarks addressed the specific qualities of life that sustain humanity, and how those virtues enrich ministry.
“The integrity of the preacher matters most. Skills matter, but effective preaching has less to do with what a preacher says but who a preacher is.”
In addition to these major public lectures, Taylor addressed smaller groups, engaged with student organizations, and taught a course that focused on examining the image of Jesus through the eyes of the world’s major faiths outside of Christianity.