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Paradoxes in an Ancient Landscape: What a Welsh Mountain Taught Me about God & the World

Paradoxes in an Ancient Landscape: What a Welsh Mountain Taught Me about God & the World

By Mark Clavier
In this, our first series, Mark Clavier, residentiary canon at Brecon Cathedral and backpacker, takes listeners on an overnight journey up Cadair Idris, a mountain in west Wales, where he reflects on faith, ecology, heritage, and hiking.

New episodes available each Wednesday and Friday.
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Episode 4 - Eternity

Paradoxes in an Ancient Landscape: What a Welsh Mountain Taught Me about God & the World

Episode 14 - Inhabiting Paradoxes
In the final episode of Paradoxes in an Ancient Landscape, Mark considers what it means to inhabit paradoxes. Introducing the Welsh ideas of hiraeth (longing) and tangnefedd (peace), he identifies living within the paradoxes of our faith with the Sabbath rest where our hearts can settle and we discover our true home.
May 08, 2020
Episode 13 - A Nuptial Faith
The paradoxes encountered on Cadair Idris offer a timely lesson about a central feature of the Christian faith: that God created seemingly opposing things--heaven and earth, sun and moon, land and water, man and woman--to share in a kind of nuptial unity. Paradoxes compel us to understanding difference in terms not of opposition but of marriage joined together by the delight God takes in everything he has created.
May 06, 2020
Episode 12 - The Eucharist
As Mark returns home from Cadair Idris, he considers how all the wonders he had seen consisted of the most commonplace materials: water, earth, air, and fire. Natural wonders always consist of ordinary things and costs the earth nothing, unlike our own attempts a creating marvels. This episode concludes with a reflection on the Eucharist in which the wonder of Christ's presence is found in the ordinary substances of bread and wine.
May 01, 2020
Episode 11 - The Commonplace
As Mark heads down Cadair Idris and back to civilization, he reflects on the ordinary and the commonplace. Despite our thirst for wonders and extraordinary experiences, it's actually in the everyday and commonplace that we grow and flourish. Christ's own life as an ordinary craftsman teaches us to be content with our commonplace lives and to embrace both stability and humility.
April 29, 2020
Episode 10 - Wonder
Mark finally makes it to the summit of Cadair Idris and takes in the amazing views all around them. Reflecting on the nature of wonder, he argues that our world needs to rediscover a "sense of wonder" in order to escape loneliness and our incessant need to tinker with creation.
April 24, 2020
Episode 9 - Baptism
Mark uses the Norman font at Brecon Cathedral to discuss how the paradox of silence and words are resolved in baptism and how they have been related to the Incarnation of Christ.
April 22, 2020
Episode 8 - Words
Cadair Idris is a mountain of myths and legends: the chair of the giant Idris Gawr and the hunting grounds of Gwyn ap Nudd's hounds. Mark considers how words inscribed into landscapes become explosive, shaping us in fundamental ways.
April 17, 2020
Episode 7 – Silence
What’s more silent than a mountain on a still night? Mark ponders the silence he experienced as he sat by his tent in Cwm Cau on Cadair Idris and what it tells us about our own inner silence and the silence we know as God.
April 15, 2020
Episode 6 - The Incarnation
Reflecting on the juxtaposition of thick-history situated within changeless landscapes, Mark discusses what the paradox of eternity and time tell us about Jesus Christ.
April 10, 2020
Episode 5 - History
Mark recounts his walk from the Dysynni Valley where the layers of history stretching back to the Bronze Age hold important lessons about place, thick-time, and our care for the earth.
April 08, 2020
Episode 4 - Eternity
Mark sets up camp on the shores of Llyn Cau and considers what the ageless landscape around him suggests about the changelessness of God
April 01, 2020
Episode 3 - Cadair Idris
Mark introduces Cadair Idris and his overnight climb where he encountered the paradoxes of eternity and time, silence and words, and the wonderful and the commonplace.
March 27, 2020
Episode 2 - God and Nature
Mark reflects on his life of walking and backpacking and how he came to see the close relationship between God and creation.
March 27, 2020
Episode 1 - Why I'm Catholic
Mark explores his own Anglican Catholicism and how it’s rooted in a conviction that heaven and earth, God and creation, must be held together.
March 25, 2020