OXFORD, Ga. - New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor will speak at Oxford College on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Selected as the 2018 Samuel Mills Peace Lecture and sponsored by Oxford’s Pierce Program of Religion and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the event will be held in the sanctuary of Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, located adjacent to the Oxford campus at 803 Whatcoat Street, Oxford, Ga.
Taylor’s first memoir, Leaving Church (2006), won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Her last book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (2014), was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia.
In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received The President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercer University. Her work has been translated into five languages.
The title of the lecture is “Holy Envy,” the title of her fourteenth book, which is coming from HarperOne in April 2019. Says Taylor, “In 1955, sociologist Will Herberg addressed religious diversity in the United States with a book titled Protestant, Catholic, Jew. Sixty years later, the U. S. is the most religiously diverse nation in the world, with emerging fault lines between Americans of different faiths, cultures, and colors.”
Taylor will talk about "holy envy" as a peaceful strategy for living with religious difference, offering people of faith (and of no particular faith) a way to explore and deepen their own commitments by engaging those of others.
The Samuel W. Mills Peace Lecture Series was established by John A. Mills III and Elizabeth W. Mills, parents of Sam Mills, an Oxford College alumnus who was killed in a bicycling accident in 1986, his senior year at Emory College. Sam Mills placed great importance on his rural Georgia heritage and ties to family and local folkways, while also working for national and global peace. In honor of Sam Mills, these lectures reflect those interests.