BY VANESSA SMITH, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Many Piedmont students know Barbara Brown Taylor as the Butman Professor of Religion, but her titles do not end there as she has recently been named one of the “Notable Georgians of 2014” in Georgia Trend Magazine for the second year running.
Previously, Taylor has also been included in Georgia Trend’s list of “100 Most Influential Georgians” in 2012.
According to Taylor, the best part of receiving the award was when she attended the award banquet in Atlanta and was able to meet other notable and influential Georgians who are included in the list, which consists of leaders in government, education, business and the arts.
“I felt like I had been invited backstage to meet the Rolling Stones,” said Taylor.
Winning an award can cause people to treat the recipients differently.
“More people say hello to me in the grocery store now,” said Taylor.
Taylor, an Episcopal priest since 1984, said her favorite class to teach is Religions of the World, which she teaches every semester at Piedmont.
“My favorite part of teaching is meeting a new classroom full of new students and then figuring out how to make the most of their different skills, backgrounds, interests and personalities,” she said.
“It never happens the same way twice, which means that it is always full of surprise and pleasure.”
Taylor’s professional achievements go beyond teaching, which she has done for 15 years.
She was also a parish minister for 15 years prior and is a successful author.
According to Taylor, her personal achievements include her marriage of 30 years and the occasions when she hears from a former student who remembered something that he or she learned in one of her classes.
“That’s the kind of achievement that really matters,” said Taylor.
When not teaching, preaching or receiving awards, Taylor enjoys imitating “Iron Chef” in her kitchen, taking care of her pets and making glass jewelry for local galleries.
Taylor has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Emory University, and a Master of Divinity from Yale University.
She teaches Religions of the World, Introduction to the New Testament and most of the other religion courses on a rotating schedule with college chaplain and professor of religion Ashley Cleere.
Taylor has also written 12 books, including the New York Times Best Seller, “An Altar in the World,” and many of her books appear on various college curriculums around the country.
Her latest book, “Learning to Walk in the Dark,” is available for pre order online now and will be released April 8, 2014.