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
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.

14 - Inhabiting Paradoxes
May 8 • 17 min
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…
13 - A Nuptial Faith
May 5 • 14 min
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.…
12 - The Eucharist
May 1 • 15 min
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…
11 - The Commonplace
Apr 29 • 16 min
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…
10 - Wonder
Apr 24 • 13 min
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…
9 - Baptism
Apr 22 • 15 min
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. —- Send in a voice message:
8 - Words
Apr 17 • 16 min
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. —- Send in a voice…
7 – Silence
Apr 15 • 16 min
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. —- Send in a voice message:…
6 - The Incarnation
Apr 10 • 14 min
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. —- Send in a voice message:
5 - History
Apr 8 • 14 min
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. —- Send in a voice message:
4 - Eternity
Apr 1 • 14 min
Mark sets up camp on the shores of Llyn Cau and considers what the ageless landscape around him suggests about the changelessness of God —- Send in a voice message:
3 - Cadair Idris
Mar 27 • 9 min
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. —- Send in a voice message:
2 - God and Nature
Mar 27 • 13 min
Mark reflects on his life of walking and backpacking and how he came to see the close relationship between God and creation. —- Send in a voice message:
1 - Why I’m Catholic
Mar 25 • 9 min
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. —- Send in a voice message: