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The Trumpet in the Universe

~ Destiny ~

Fifteen brass rods shoot up from the base of the trumpet, piercing small balls and layered spheres to span the dimensions of the universe, from microscopic to gigantic. Around the base are 12 inscriptions from different disciplines, representing the development of the arts and sciences.


In The Trumpet in the Universe Mocan adapts a refrain from the Reformation – soli Deo gloria – to suggest that everything from celestial spheres down to sub-atomic particles resounds with the Creator’s glory. At the same time the sculpture honours the scientists who discover the workings of the universe, and the writers and musicians who enrich human culture.

The 12 Inscriptions

These inscriptions around the base of ‘The Trumpet in the Universe’ offer visitors to the exhibition a window to explore the theme behind the sculpture, which is soli Deo gloria (Glory to God alone).  They introduce notable people from different disciplines who made scientific discoveries, developed technology or contributed to human flourishing.  Most of them are associated in some way or other with Cambridge, and many were people of faith who would endorse the concept of soli Deo gloria.

How many of the authors/sources can you identify, and can you find out what connection they have with Cambridge and the sculpture?

1. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

2.                  (BIOLOGY)

3. Novum instrumentum omne diligenter ab Erasmo Roterodamo recognitum & emendatum. (BIBLICAL STUDIES)

4.                                                                                     (MUSIC)


5. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. (THEOLOGY)


6. If we assume we've arrived, we stop searching, we stop developing. (ASTRONOMY)


7. N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3 (CHEMISTRY)


8. Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher. (LITERATURE)


9. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. (EDUCATION)


10. F = ma (MECHANICS)


11. Liberty is a natural and government an adventitious right, because all men were originally free. (POLITICS)


12.  s x E = – ∂B/∂t         s. D = ρ


       s x H = J + ∂D/∂t      s. B = 0  (PHYSICS)


Answers available inside Great St. Mary's Church, Cambridge, or you can download a PDF summary.

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