Convivium Podcasts have been started during the Convid-19 restrictions as a way for people self-isolating or social distancing themselves to engage with our Convivium vision. Episodes are recorded Wednesday and Saturday and are available thereafter from this website, Facebook, Twitter, or one of the platforms listed below.

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

In this, our first series, Mark Clavier takes listeners on an overnight journey up Cadair Idris, a mountain in west Wales, where he encounters paradoxes that reveal something about the heart of Christianity and living well with the creation. Drawing on previous hikes and treks, Mark reflects on eternity, time, silence, words, wonder, and the ordinary and how they relate to the sacraments. Partly a love letter to Wales, Mark concludes by considering the Welsh words hiraeth and tangnefedd, longing and peace, that are written into the landscape of this ancient land. Paradoxes in an Ancient Landscape is a profoundly ecological vision of the Christian faith that readers of Wendell Berry, Rowan Williams, and Norman Wirzba will enjoy.

The series is also available through


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.
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.
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.

First Paradox: Eternity & History

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
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.
Episode 6 – Incarnation: Reflecting on the juxtaposition of think-history situated within changeless landscapes, Mark discusses what the paradox of eternity and time tell us about Jesus Christ.

Second Paradox: Silence & Words

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.
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.
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.

Third Paradox: Wonder & the Commonplace

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.
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.
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.

Inhabiting Paradoxes

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.
Episode 14 – Inhabiting Paradox: In the final episode of Paradoxes in a Mountain 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.

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One Comment on “Podcast

  1. Thank you for proving such insight into our relationship to God in all the beauty and things of the earth around us.


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