Shakespeare, Caesar, Culture, and Politics with Dr. Khalil Habib

October 17, 2017

Behind the personal conflicts in in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, says Wyoming Catholic College board member Dr Khalil Habib, the bard is making the case that “politics always swims downstream from culture.”

Just as Caesar believes that he is driving changes in Rome, so, too, Brutus, Cassius, and their fellow conspirators believe that they are driving changes by murdering him. In fact, it is the changing Roman culture that drives the events much more than the men involved. Rome changed from the days of the Republic to the eve of the Empire. Killing Caesar cannot and does not undo those changes.

In addition to being Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Pell Honors Program at Salve Regina University, Dr. Habib is a member of the Wyoming Catholic College Board of Directors and our guest on this week’s After Dinner Scholar.

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Dionysus, Apollo, and the Challenge of Deep Knowing with Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski

October 10, 2017

“What is good?" asked Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Anti-Christ. Whatever augments the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power increases—that resistance is overcome.”

Thus it seems curious that Sean Steel, a member of the education faculty at the University of Calgary, should use Nietzschean categories--the Dionysian, the Apollonian, the anti-Dionysian--to propose a rather congenial understanding of a good education.

The Wyoming Catholic College faculty read and discussed Steel’s article “Schooling for ‘Deep Knowing’” during a recent symposium. Our Academic Dean, Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski, led our discussion and is our guest on this week’s After Dinner Scholar.

Sean Steel's article, "Schooling for 'Deep Knowing'" can be found here.

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Plato’s “Alcibiades”: The Gateway to Philosophy with Professor Kyle Washut

September 19, 2017

“What do you hope to achieve by bothering me?” It’s a question many asked Socrates and in the dialogue Alcibiades, he answers the question.

Alcibiades yearns for a life in politics and is both an attractive and ambitious would-be leader of Athens. He would appear to have a great future before him, but Socrates tells him—convinces him, “You are wedded to stupidity, my good fellow, stupidity of the highest degree.” Alcibiades can’t explain the difference between justice and injustice, good and bad, advantageous and disadvantageous. 

Professor Kyle Washut introduced the Wyoming Catholic College freshmen to philosophy and the value of studying philosophy with Socrates' conversation with Alcibiades. Through it they see themselves and their need for education in a new way.

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Transcending Time and Space through the Study of Latin with Professor Eugene Hamilton

September 12, 2017

In 1947, Don Giovanni Calabria read La Lettere di Berlicche, the Italian translation of C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters and decided to write to the book’s author. Since he knew no English and had no indication that Lewis knew Italian, Fr. Giovanni wrote in Latin, confident that Lewis, an educated man and scholar, could read and write—if not speak—Latin.

That would be a bad assumption today. Many universities and colleges gave up teaching the classics years ago.

Yet at Wyoming Catholic College, all students take Latin learning not just reading and writing, but learning how to speak and to converse in Latin. At the center of the program is Professor—or more properly Magister Eugene Hamilton. Magister is our guest on this week's After Dinner Scholar.

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The Witness of the Whisky Priest: Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory” with Dr. Glenn Arbery

August 22, 2017

Over the past week, the administration and staff at Wyoming Catholic College have met to discuss The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. It’s an historical novel set in the 1930s in the Mexican state of Tobasco. The Catholic Church had been outlawed and churches including the cathedral were torn down. Priests were arrested as enemies of the state and promptly shot. In that setting, Greene gives us his paradoxical portrayal of service to God, love for neighbor, and holiness in the life of the last remaining Catholic priest, a character known to us only as “father’ or “the whisky priest.”

Dr. Glenn Arbery, president of Wyoming Catholic College led the discussion and is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.

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Flannery O’Connor and the Warthog from Hell with Dr. Kent Lasnoski

August 15, 2017

Anyone who has read Flannery O’Connor’s stories knows that she was convinced that "the repugnant distortions of modern life" appeared far too natural and normal to her audience and she was quite willing to use “ever more violent means” to point that out.

Her short story “Revelation” exemplifies her dictum that “to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.”

This summer Dr. Kent Lasnoski assigned “Revelation” to high school juniors and seniors during Wyoming Catholic College’s PEAK Program. Dr. Lasnoski is our guest on this edition of The After Dinner Scholar.

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The Use of Power and the Possibility of Grace in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” with Dr. Glenn Arbery

August 8, 2017

At the end of his life, William Shakespeare moved from what could be called his Tragedy period to his Romance period. While plays such as King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth end on stages strewn with dead bodies, the Romances including The Tempest end with the realization of hope beyond hope.

In such a world, Shakespeare imagined a great magician with immense power over the wind, the sea, and the lives of people including his enemies.

The Tempest, argues Wyoming Catholic College President Glenn Arbery, is the story of how the magician, Prospero, uses that power.

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Lecture: Prospero’s Return by Dr. Glenn Arbery

August 8, 2017

In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan tells his daughter Miranda the tale of how his brother, Antonio, usurped his title and put him and Miranda in a leaky boat to perish at sea. Instead, “by providence divine” they landed on an island. There Prospero became a great and powerful magician able even to control the wind and the sea.

As a fleet of ships passes by, he conjures a storm and brings Antonio and his other enemies to his island.

The story of what happens next is the topic of Wyoming Catholic College President Glenn Arbery’s lecture on The Tempest at the 2017 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought. Here it is in its entirety.

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The Garden of Eden and Dante’s Return from Exile with Dr. Jason Baxter

July 18, 2017

In Dante Alighieri Purgatorio, the second canticle of The Divine Comedy, Dante the pilgrim, finally cleansed from all sin and disordered love, reaches the Garden of Eden atop Mount Purgatory. And while there is more to his pilgrimage, his exile is at an end.

Dr. Jason Baxter, Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities here at Wyoming Catholic College discusses how the final Canti of Purgatorio describe the return from exile to sanity, to complete humanness, to purity of heart, to natural contemplation, and, with the arrival of Dante’s beloved Beatrice, to true love.

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Lecture: Dante’s Exile by Dr. Jason Baxter

July 18, 2017

In Dante Alighieri Purgatorio, the second canticle of The Divine Comedy, Dante the pilgrim, finally cleansed from all sin and disordered love, reaches the Garden of Eden atop Mount Purgatory. And while there is more to his pilgrimage, his exile is at an end.

Wyoming Catholic College Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities Dr. Jason Baxter discussed the return from that exile in Dante Alighieri at teh 2017 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought. Here is his lecture in its entirety.

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