The story of al-jabr

Welcome to Al-jabr, whether you’re here regularly or just passing through!

Who are you?

What do you do?

The weather’s alright, isn’t it? (a statement, not a question, you must understand)

Been anywhere recently for the craic?  Or where will you go next in the world?

These 4 questions are the ones that dominate life here, every time I meet someone new.  We are a travelling generation, particularly those of us on an island like Ireland.

But is my wanderlust something to be shunned, like many of the older generation would tell me?  Or could it be something life-enhancing, faith growing, character shaping?  2 years on from starting this blog about faith and travel, I find myself with a book forthcoming (IVPUK) and speaking engagements across Ireland and the UK.

But it’s not how I intended it to be.  Birthed out of a desperate attempt to try and think about faith and travel with a dearth of resources out there, I resorted to this, simply to help me express my thoughts.  But now we’ve arrived here, there’s no going back. and I’d love you to join us on the journey, which is still very much more road ahead of us than behind.

Got any thoughts?  Join the conversation!
Got something you would love to share?  Message me about a guest post.
Not a follower of Jesus?  I’d love to hear how you see travel!

And if you hang around long enough, you’ll find far more than just a few posts on faith and travel, but also some practical travel tips, fun stories from many lives, and a few other spontaneous rants – because what else is the internet for?!

Love and prayers,
Peter G

@aljabr_cork

 

About me:

Growing up in Northern Ireland throughout childhood, I’d a sheltered one (for good and for bad).  The “troubles” of the province although slowly coming to an end, still had a grip on many things and meant I’d never heard “al-jabr” from the lips of anyone, because few of other races, cultures or religions were present in “our wee country”.

However al-jabr, the Arabic word from which was thought to derive the English “algebra”, played a big role in my life in school days, as I studied mathematics (or “maz”, as the Norn Iron among us used to say) and further mathematics.

Moving off to the University of Nottingham to study Mathematics and Philosophy (the two connected historically in algebraic logic), I met for the first time those who spoke of “al-jabr”.  Since then, squeezed between western postmodernism and Islamic thought, I’ve enjoyed being bombarded by east and by west.  And moving to (the People’s Republic of) Cork, found myself even torn between north and south!

But more than that, al-jabr (I’m told; my Arabic isn’t good enough yet) is restoration or bringing separated parts back to unity.  And so I turn to it to express the yearnings of my heart for the day when the One who I’ve met in eyewitness accounts of history, I’ve meditated about on my philosophical journeyings and have experienced along life’s path, will restore all things in a wonderfully earthy, eternal reality!

In the meantime, please allow me to express all aspects of this “al-jabr” (don’t worry, it’ll not be boring algebra!), as we travel together.

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