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A Pilgrimage of Paradoxes


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Table of Contents

Glossary and Guide to Welsh Names Preface Chapter 1: Cadair Idris: Encountering God on a Welsh Mountain Part 1 The Paradox of Eternity and Time Chapter 2: Cwm Cau: Timelessness Chapter 3: Dysynni Valley: Thick-Time Chapter 4: Incarnation Part 2 The Paradox of Silence and Words Chapter 5: Craig Lwyd: Silence Chapter 6: Gwyn ap Nudd: Words Chapter 7: Baptism Part 3 The Paradox of Wonder and the Commonplace Chapter 8: Penygadair: The Wonderful Chapter 9: Rhiw Gwredydd: The Commonplace Chapter 10: Eucharist Chapter 11: Inhabiting Hiraeth and Tangnefedd Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

Employing a firsthand account of an overnight trek on a Welsh mountain, this book ranges widely through history, folklore, poetry, philosophy, and theology to explore how paradoxes at the heart of the Christian faith offer a sacramental and ecological perspective on belonging.

About the Author

Mark Clavier is the Residentiary Canon of Brecon Cathedral, UK, and chair of the Standing Doctrinal Commission for the Church in Wales, UK.


This book sharpens our ears and tunes our imaginations to hear and see the "magic" of landscape, people, and God, and to rejoice in it all. * The Church Times *
Mark Clavier knows what it is to be lost, to yearn for a transcendent God who remains out of reach. Yet as this wise book relates, he also knows what it is to be found, to encounter God in the common marvels of creation. Read this book and then go for a walk with eyes newly opened to the mysteries that are at hand. -- Jeffrey Bilbro, Grove City College, USA
'An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace': Cranmer's definition of a sacrament expresses perfectly Mark Clavier's achievement in this deeply personal yet universally applicable reflection which celebrates the wonderful Welsh mountainscape as a sacrament of God's timeless presence in creation and in the human heart. -- John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, UK
In this personal and wise book, Mark Clavier invites readers on a mountain pilgrimage with poets, philosophers, and spiritual writers as guides. The result is a profound meditation on time, place, and the communities of life that join us to each other and to our world. Come along! -- Norman Wirzba, Duke Divinity School, USA
Read this book and walk with the author on a journey that unites heaven and earth. On his hikes in the Welsh mountains, Clavier encounters not some generic "higher power" but an earthy God, incarnate in both the wonderful and the commonplace. In the process he traces a life that is simultaneously poetic, divine, and deeply humane. -- William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University, USA
Mark Clavier is our delightful companion as we walk into a landscape that speaks of God found in timelessness and time, silence and words, wonder and the commonplace. He weaves memoir with theological reflection, folklore, geology and history, taking discursive routes to explore his paradoxical themes with flair and imagination. -- Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich, UK
Mark Clavier loses himself in the rocky beauty of mid-Wales, and finds himself opened up to multiple layers of wisdom and joy. Strands of place, theology and the natural world are all plaited together through the pages of this profound and deeply satisfying book. -- Philip Marsden, travel writer and novelist, UK
Perhaps one of the worst things Christianity has done in some of its varieties is to encourage people to think they don't really belong in and with creation. Mark Clavier has written a brilliant and moving meditation on how he has learned from journeys in the Welsh landscape to see more clearly that redemption is a gift that allows us to inhabit more deeply where we truly are, at home in the grace and mercy of the creator. -- Rowan Williams, University of Cambridge, UK
A love letter to God, written in the mountains of Wales, Mark Clavier offers a rare feast of reflections that stir the paradoxes of the imagination towards the God whose creation heals and transforms. An immersion in nature to delight the longing soul. -- Frances Ward, St Michael's Rectory, UK
What gives A Pilgrimage of Paradoxes an aura of depth and complexity lies in how Clavier weaves together personal experiences in the wilderness, learned contemplation of Christian theology and biblical passages, and a rich penetration into the interiority of the soul's relationship to the world and the Divine. ... Mark Clavier's book A Pilgrimage of Paradoxes lives up to its title. * Front Porch Republic *

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