June 20, 2017
We live in a postmodern culture. It’s something we did not choose and cannot avoid. And, as Wyoming Catholic College Academic Dean Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski argued last week, it’s not an entirely bad state of affairs since modernity was rife with problems—problems highlighted by two world wars and the tyranny of ideologies falsely branded as scientific.
This week Dr. Kozinski looks deeper into postmodernity and some of the conflicts within our current culture. We'll discover that understanding postmodernity is thus necessary to understand the world in which we live, ourselves, our children, and the prospects for the future.
June 13, 2017
The term “postmodern” is used regularly today. Barak Obama was dubbed the first postmodern president. ISIS has been called a postmodern terrorist group. Postmodernism, we’re told, has taken over higher education and is a threat to Western civilization and to Christianity. At the same time, there are churches that cheerfully brand themselves as postmodern.
So what is Postmodernism? Is it a philosophy? A means of analysis? An aesthetic? An attitude? Is it a reaction against the rationalism, scientism, and authority of modernity? Is it an attempt to unmoor and destroy Western civilization?
To answer at least some of those questions this podcast and the one next week feature Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski who, among other things, teaches Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and other postmoderns to seniors here at Wyoming Catholic College.
May 30, 2017
Politics had become a mess as politicians and their constituents gave up seeking the common good for seeking more goods for themselves and their friends. Rampant individualism was the rule of the day and justice, if mentioned at all, was merely a pretext for self-seeking.
Against that backdrop of a decaying political culture, Plato wrote The Republic. In it Socrates challenged the prevailing notions of justice and described what he viewed as true justice in individuals and in society.
Dr. Virginia Arbery, Associate Professor of Humanities at Wyoming Catholic College holds a doctorate in Political Philosophy from The University of Dallas. She has a great love for The Republic, happily sharing the book with her students and with us.
May 23, 2017
In St. Luke’s brief description of Jesus as a child, he emphasized that Jesus grew in wisdom. That is, Jesus not only learned the Scriptures, but went beyond learning information to learning how to live well under the good laws and just reign of God. In learning the Scriptures, Jesus would have read, studied, and memorized the sayings in the Old Testament wisdom books including the Book of Wisdom sometimes known as the Wisdom of Solomon.
Dr. Kent Lasnoski, Assistant Professor of Theology here at Wyoming Catholic College explains wisdom literature generally and the Book of Wisdom in particular.
May 16, 2017
It was the 1970s and the young radical noticed the politically conservative bumper stickers on the car of a new acquaintance and an argument began immediately. It was hot and heavy until the radical’s new friend stopped and said, “You are delightfully dumb. I am going to undertake the task of educating you.”
The “delightfully dumb” radical is known today as Fr. Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and president and founder of The Acton Institute. The story of how a ‘70s radical became a stalwart defender of Christian truth and economic liberty involves a huge pile of book.
Fr. Sirico, our guest on this podcast, was the commencement speaker at Wyoming Catholic College this past weekend
May 2, 2017
In On Christian Doctrine, St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430) offers a guide for interpreting and expounding Scripture. “There are certain precepts for treating the Scriptures,” he wrote, “which I think may not inconveniently be transmitted to students, so that they may profit not only from reading the work of expositors, but also in their own explanations of the sacred writings to others.”
That is, he produced a practical guide with rules for interpreting the Bible and for explaining the Bible to other people.
Freshmen at Wyoming Catholic College have been reading On Christian Doctrine and their professor, Dr. Kent Lasnoski who is our guest on this podcast.
April 25, 2017
Wyoming Catholic’s founding document, our “Philosophical Vision Statement,” talks a great deal about the imagination. “The College will,” it states, “seek to educate the whole person—the mind, heart, and imagination.”
Imagination is vital because it is the way we see the world around us, the way we image reality before we even think about it. As American humorist Mark Twain observed, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Fortunately our imaginations are not fixed, but can be properly focused for the good through worship, through study and community, and through encountering the beauty and power of Creation.
To talk about imagination and how we form Catholic imaginations in ourselves, in our students, and in our children, we have with us Dr. Glenn Arbery, President of Wyoming Catholic College.
Click here for information on "The Splendor of Imagination," Wyoming Catholic's June 11-15 conference for adult learners.
April 18, 2017
Twentieth century philosopher of history, R. G. Collingwood said that the study of history was in essence “an attempt to understand the present by reconstructing its determining conditions.” And thus it has been since the beginning of the writing of history with the author often called “The Father of History,” the ancient Greek historian Herodotus.
At Wyoming Catholic College, student's read Herodotus' sprawling account of the war between the Greeks and the Persians with Dr. Virginia Arbery, Associate Professor of Humanities. Dr. Arbery is this week's podcast guest.
N. B.: The transcript of Niall Ferguson's speech "The Decline and Fall of History" is available here.
April 11, 2017
“What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?” asks a student as he considers murder as a road to justice. If one death could mean liberation for many, why not kill? For him it's just a hypothetical question, but at a nearby table Radion Raskolnikov listens, takes in the argument, and later kills.
In Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky considers what happens after the blood is shed: the confusion, the remorse, the justifications, the anguish, and finally in Raskolnikov's case redemption. Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities here at Wyoming Catholic College has been reading Crime and Punishment with our senior class. Inthis podcast, he shares his and their insights into this exploration of the human heart.
March 14, 2017
John Milton’s Paradise Lost spans all of history from the fall of Satan and his angels to the creation of Adam and Eve, to the fall of man, to the cross of Christ, to the Second Coming. In A Preface to Paradise Lost, Milton scholar C. S. Lewis wrote, “Paradise Lost records a real, irreversible, unrepeatable process of the history of the universe; and even for those who do not believe this, it embodies…the great change in every individual soul from happy dependence to miserable self-assertion and thence either, as in Satan, to final isolation, or, as in Adam, to reconcilement and a different happiness.”
This week's guest, Wyoming Catholic College president Dr. Glenn Arbery, has taught Paradise Lost for many years and is currently working through the poem with our juniors.