ARTISTS

Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor Time 100
Marco Grob for TIME

A centering voice in the wilderness

Few souls are as synched to the world’s mysteries as Barbara Brown Taylor’s. An acclaimed Episcopal preacher and best-selling author, Taylor lives quietly on her farm in northern Georgia, writing spiritual nonfiction that rivals the poetic power of C.S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner. Her latest book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, is her 13th, and in it she urges believers and nonbelievers alike to dive into the deepest shadows of their lives in order to confront their worst fears and to find strength for life’s journey. In the process, she adds, their faith may deepen. “If you are in the dark, it does not mean that you have failed and that you have taken some terrible misstep,” she says. “For many years, I thought my questions and my doubt and my sense of God’s absence were all signs of my lack of faith, but now I know this is the way the life of the spirit goes.”

Dias is a TIME correspondent

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