Dear Friends,

            As promised, here is the second episode of my journey so far. Just to let you know, I plan on writing these every several weeks after the events have happened, so as to give myself time to enjoy the writing and process my experience as I go along.

            While we were spending time at Sheenagh’s we got the chance to take a day to tour Glasgow. One of the more interesting things we got to see was the Necropolis/ St.Mungo’s Cathedral.St.Mungo's Cathedral 2 There were many interesting things about this site but one of the ways it affect both me and my father’s outlook on history was, that we had never thought of the Protestant Reformation as something to be ‘survived’. When we were given a tour of St.Mungo’s Cathedral we had learned its fascinating history. It was first described as the one Catholic Cathedral that survived the Protestant Reformation. In North America, because we inherited the fruits of the Protestant Reformation but we in no ways involved or were first-hand witnesses, we tend to think of the battles between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestants, as essentially a battle of ideas, that what it really was about was whether the bread REALLY turned into the body of Christ or not. Having now heard the Protestant Reformation as something to be ‘survived’ (or as something still to be survived in some parts of Ireland), you begin to understand why Atheists or Agnostics or critics of ‘Religion’ are so anger. No doubt, much of it has to do with being angry at God for personal suffering but guess what, ‘religion’ is an extremely powerful force that has immense consequences for history. While as a theologian and a believer in the benefits of the Protestant Reformation, let it not be said that theology is only for the heavenly minded…it has real world consequences too.Necropolis in Glasgow

            Continuing on this note, I had noticed that at the top of the Necropolis, which was set along the enormous hillside behind the cathedral, you can see one of the many statues of John Knox, the semi-well-known founder of the Presbyterian Church. Along with the proclamation that the Protestant Reformation was the greatest religious revolution since the birth of Christianity (it is certainly a candidate for the spot) inscribed in stone, it’s also not hard to notice that the direction John Knox is looking, is down upon the (formally) Catholic Cathedral.  John Knox’s spirit frowns upon the remaining Catholic Cathedral as a testimony to Protestant detest at Catholic institutions. The architecture captured the theology perfectly.

            The architecture in Glasgow however has so far only been rivalled by the architecture in the city of our main destination point, Edinburgh!!! Now, due to camera complications we don’t have a ton of photos from Edinburgh but I assure you I’ll be taking some as we go along. Edinburgh, like much of Scotland, is filled with beautiful hills, architecture and a castle to boot. However, what is really cool about Edinburgh is how it was in many ways the ‘ground-zero’ of our modern disaster capitalism, being the home of Adam Smith, the famous author of The Wealth of Nations and David Hume, the famous philosopher whose most famous argument argues against the possibility of miracles; in addition, Charles Darwin, the famous popularizer of the theory of Evolution, studied at the University of Edinburgh. It is almost as if I’m a sheep dressed in Wolf’s clothing to have enter into such corporate elite intellectual institutions like the University of Toronto and the University of Edinburgh. And in such a vain, I want to share with you the first HipHop verse I have written while being in Scotland. It was inspired by these observations about Edinburgh (and the ‘Finding Forever’ instrumental off Common’s album Finding Forever), and as such, may be ‘philosophical poem’ is a better description. Enjoy.

Sorry Chapters, the Earth don’t belong to the geek/
Who write the footnotes, but not the notes for the feet/
Writing in a city that has two tall statues/
One of Adam Smith, the other of David Hume/
So can I presume/ that you don’t believe in magic or that you do? /
Let me resume/ try to prove/
Miracles in our everyday space, just exude/
But you say they don’t happen because they don’t happen to you? /
Pretty euro-centric, but you ain’t the centre/
Of attention for all our weather/ Mr. Hume/
But some how when the market’s unfettered/
And it works in your endeavours/ it was the invisible hand that moved? /
Hmm, funny religion, capitalism/
Where you pray to you, other’s pain is your system/
My God loves all, but justice is not yet present/
So I wait for the day when the king is the peasant/

Next time: Rosslyn Chapel, My birthday story, my roommates, and HipHop here