After Romania I had 3 days in Finland and then I was on my way again, this time to Estonia. My friend Varro and his friends were organising an annual cultural festival called Trialogos for the ninth time now and it was high time for me and my friend Jason to go! Although the timing was bad in that we had a full week at the university I managed to skip some courses (for which I’ll have to do the impossible and read more books in 0 time for upcoming exams) and be there for 2 days.
We traveled on Viking Line which was quite nice, had a snack and a good conversation first with each other and then with a weird guy. On the way back home we were already so much at home in the boat that Jason really took it easy and made himself comfortable while eating all of my orange chocolate and watching the impressive views of the Baltic pond.
In Tallinn we got to stay at Varro’s place, a very homely (in the English sense, not the American:D) apartment, neat, big, nice, beautiful, but according to Varro, ASCETIC! Anyway we had home made buns and pancakes for breakfast and a delicious dinner in candlelight (just one ordinary candle though, no romantic stuff don’t get me wrong!:D) and all… Our thanks to Varro’s family! Below you see Varro and me first and then Varro’s brother Mihkel (whom I had run into in Loreto) with Jason at the dinner.
Then to the conference. There were some top speakers mostly from the US speaking on a variety of topics related to the East and the West, Science and Religion, Past and Present… There were mostly traditional Catholic and Orthodox representatives although the Orthodox sort of did their job and then vanished from the scene. I and Jason got lucky twice, Varro arranged for us to go have lunch together with the speakers! The restaurant and the food was excellent.
In regards to the contents specifically, two most interesting new acquaintances were Jeffrey Langan and James Larson, both from the US and both in the picture below (Larson talking on Palamitism, one of the big topics there).
On Friday there was an interesting exchange on Science. Robert Sungenis and David Berlinski, coming from totally different backgrounds (Catholic & agnostic/skeptic) mounted a forceful critique of contemporary science (and sometimes of each other). Below Sungenis taking notes while Berlinski is speaking.
I guess my major motivation to go to the event was to hear and meet Robert Sungenis in person. If you clicked on his name above you probably know why already. His apologetics website is at http://www.catholicintl.com. I have read his Not by Faith Alone (around 700 pages) and got a dedication&signature for it:) In addition to two lunches, we had beer together with him and Langan, and took a walk and an espresso (well, Jason did) with him on the last day. Oh and we went to the Tridentine Mass as well. It was a special and exciting experience for me and we got to talk a lot.
We also got an invitation to drop in for a cup of coffee in Pennsylvania some day:) I hope we can go see ”number ten” (he’s got 9 kids so far!:) some day. This meeting made up for the failed plan to meet Karl Keating in Finand in August. Now that the ice is broken, though, I hope to be able to meet Scott Hahn in London on October 31st, or at least to see and hear him. Yes, another trip. London is next, again. It’ll be nice to see the Kings again.