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Wake Forest announces Worship in Wait speakers

August 14, 2009

Wake Forest University’s Worship in Wait Series for 2009-2010 will feature two speakers who have written extensively on their exploration of what is “real” in spirituality.  Held in Wait Chapel, the series brings distinguished speakers to the university to respond to contemporary issues within the context of ecumenical worship.

Barbara Brown Taylor will speak Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.  Taylor teaches religion at Piedmont College in Georgia and is an adjunct professor of spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia.  She is the author of 12 books, including “An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith,” and "Leaving Church.”

Taylor was ordained by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta in 1984.  She is an at-large editor for The Christian Century and an occasional commentator on Georgia Public Radio.  She has been identified among “10 Spiritual Sages to Watch in 2009.”  Baylor University named her one of the best preachers in the English-speaking world.  Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and received an honorary doctorate from Wake Forest in 2006. 

In a recent interview, Taylor discussed the sacredness of incarnation to the Christian faith.

“That has sent me back to look at physical practices — pilgrimage, fasting, embodied prayer, dancing and other practices from our Christian tradition,” she said.  “I am looking at the ways we do baptism, the ways we eat together, the ways we wash feet. The ways we form our communities.”

Taylor has described her own spiritual quest to find and become what she calls ‘really real’ as coming to the realization that “the holiest thing I could be was the flawed human being God had made me to be.”

Marcus Borg will speak Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.  Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland.  Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, he was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007.  He served as a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and as president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.  Borg has authored or co-authored 21 books, including “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time:  Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally.” Borg frequently writes for the “On Faith” blog for the Washington Post. 

“Ideas matter much more than we commonly think they do,” he says.  “They shape our sense of what is real and how we are to live.  For Christians in particular, our ideas about God and Jesus matter.  They can make God and Jesus seem unreal, or persuasive and compelling.”   

Worship in Wait is co-sponsored by the Office of the President, the Divinity School and the Office of the Chaplain.  All Worship in Wait services are free and open to the public.  More information about the speakers can be found online at   

Press Contacts:

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

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