Faith v. Science: The False Dichotomy with Dr. Michael Bolin

March 20, 2018

Faith and science, we've been told, are at war so choose your side. Will you be a modern man or woman or will you hang onto outdated and disproved dogmas?

And too often Christian young people believe in the war and choose to side with science.

But the faith versus science dichotomy, however, is as false as it is overblown and pernicious.

Wyoming Catholic College Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Michael Bolin works through the arguments each year with our students as they consider the question of evolution. Dr. Bolin is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.


Falling Inward: Humanities in the Age of Technology with Dr. Jason Baxter

March 13, 2018

“I begin this book, on the humanities,” writes Wyoming Catholic College Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities, Dr. Jason Baxter, “with a description of travel, because I think the experience of being immersed in a world of surprises, like I was in Ischia, and the experience of reading a ‘great book’… is fundamentally analogous.”

Dr. Baxter goes on to write that his just-released book Falling Inward: Humanities in the Age of Technology is an answer to the question, “How is the profound sense of travel like the experience of reading?” Both are fundamentally the experience he calls “falling inward.”

To discuss his book and the meaning of its title, Dr. Baxter is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.

Order Dr. Baxter's book, Falling Inward from Cluny Media or Amazon.


Restless and Rational: The Traveler’s Heart in Philosopher’s Terms with Elizabeth Meluch

March 6, 2018

“The world is a book,” wrote St. Augustine of Hippo some 1,600 years ago, “and those who do not travel read only one page.” 

The idea of reading page after page of the book of the world is not unique to St. Augustine. We are all homo viator, human travelers both in the sense that we are pilgrims in earth moving toward our eternal homes and in the sense that as embodied beings, we are naturally drawn to explore the world of places that we inhabit. Something in us wants to know what’s over the next hill and over the next hill and beyond that river.

Wyoming Catholic College senior Elizabeth Meluch certainly had a sense of that when she began writing her thesis and the accompanying oration she delivered last week on the subject of travel. Miss Meluch is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.


“The Four Causes of Obedience” with Jason Kirstein, Wyoming Catholic College Class of 2018

February 27, 2018

In order to graduate from Wyoming Catholic College, each student writes a thesis during the fall semester of senior year and then in the winter presents the topic of the thesis as a thirty-minute lecture, taking questions from the audience for another thirty minutes. The audience includes their classmates and other students, parents who arrive for the week or are there via Skype or Facetime. Oh, and there’s a panel of three faculty members armed with the first round of questions.

This week and next, The After Dinner Scholar will feature two of our seniors fresh from their orations.

This week, our guest is Jason Kirstein, who wrote his senior thesis on "The Four Causes of Obedience: A Love that Trieth the Path to the Terram Visionis [the Land of Vision]."


St. Thomas Aquinas’ “On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life” with Dr. Kent Lasnoski

February 20, 2018

St. Thomas Aquinas is known primarily as a great thinker. And indeed his works still under gird a Catholic understanding of God and the world. But for St. Thomas, thinking, teaching and writing about Sacred Scripture, theology, and philosophy were never ends in themselves. His academic work—and indeed from his point of view all his work and rest—served a higher purpose.

That higher purpose animates St. Thomas' short work, “On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life.”

“Since certain persons, knowing nothing about perfection,” he began, “have presumed to speak follies concerning the state of perfection, our purpose is to treat of perfection: what it is to be perfect; how perfection is acquired; what is the state of perfection; and what befits those who take up this state.”

Theologian Dr. Kent Lasnoski has been working through “On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life with our Wyoming Catholic College seniors. Dr. Lasnoski is this week’s guest on The After Dinner Scholar.


Lecture: Is Reading Plato Necessary for Salvation? by Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski

February 13, 2018

Each year Wyoming Catholic College sponsors our Lecture Series for all students (attendance is required), faculty, staff, and our neighbors in Lander and beyond.

On February 2, The Feast of the Presentation, Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski, our Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy delivered a lecture entitled, “Is Reading Plato Necessary for Salvation?” and we’re delighted to offer it to you in its entirety as an After Dinner Scholar podcast.



Is Reading Plato Necessary for Salvation? with Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski

February 13, 2018

During their years at Wyoming Catholic College, students study a number of Platonic dialogues. Plato, we believe, has a great deal to say to us. His writings are central to Western civilization.  But what about our personal lives? Is Plato in any sense central to or even important to our lives as Christian people?

Wyoming Catholic College Academic Dean Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski in a recent lecture entitled, "Is Reading Plato Necessary for Salvation?" argued that Plato is vital to our spiritual lives as humans and as Christian believers.

Dr. Kozinski is this week's guest on this The After Dinner Scholar interview. We are also making his entire lecture is available as a podcast.


To the Ends of the Earth: The Acts of the Apostles with Prof. Kyle Washut

February 6, 2018

“To many persons,” preached St. John Chrysostom, “this Book is so little known, both it and its author, that they are not even aware that there is such a book in existence. For this reason especially I have taken this narrative for my subject, that I may draw to it such as do not know it, and not let such a treasure as this remain hidden out of sight.”

The book to which St. John Chrysostom referred was the Acts of the Apostles, the second volume in St. Luke’s telling of the story of Jesus. “In the first book, O Theophilus,” Luke wrote, “I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach.” In this second book, the Acts of the Apostles, Luke would deal with all Jesus through the Holy Spirit continued to do and teach.

Wyoming Catholic College Professor Kyle Washut has been teaching Acts to our freshmen this winter, sharing his insights and theirs with us on this installment of the After Dinner Scholar.


The Paradox of Courage with Dr. Glenn Arbery

January 30, 2018

In the book Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton wrote about courage: “No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.”

Courage is vital in facing battle, persecution or martyrdom, sickness, and death. It is central to spiritual battles and speaking the truth of the Gospel to our neighbors. Relationships with others—husband/wife, parent/child, friend and friend—often require courage. And among successful executives, managerial courage in decision making is a sought-after trait.

At the same time, the word courage is used to cover up all sorts of questionable behavior and prudence requires that we know the real thing from its counterfeits. That’s why the topic of the 2018 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought—June 10-14 here in Lander, Wyoming—is “The Paradox of Courage.”

This week to give us a foretaste of the school,  our guest is Wyoming Catholic College President Dr. Glenn Arbery.


A Universal Language for a Universal Church with Dr. Scott Olsson

January 23, 2018

While vernacular languages will continue to be our normal way of communicating and doing business, there is something fitting about a universal Church, a Church comprising “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” having a universal language: Latin.

At Wyoming Catholic College, we invite our undergraduate students, our podcast listeners, and participants in the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought into the great conversation that is Western civilization. Since much of that conversation in the world and in the Church occurred in Latin, it makes perfect sense that we would encourage—and with our undergraduates require—Latin as a read and spoken language.

Our guest this week, Dr. Scott Olsson is Associate Professor of Mathematics and the Natural Sciences at Wyoming Catholic College. At the same time, he has an abiding passion for Latin, a passion he passes on to his students and to his children.