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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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 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: 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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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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Lost in a World of Images: Plato’s Cave with Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski

July 11, 2017

At the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought this past June, Wyoming Catholic College Academic Dean Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski began his lecture stating, “Plato’s cave is a television set.” And beginning with the question of why study Plato at all, he discussed our exile from the real, an exile that can only be remedied by grace and contemplation.

Dr. Kozinski is this week's guest on The After Dinner Scholar.

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Lecture: Moses and Israel: From Exile to Freedom by Dr. Jeremy Holmes

July 4, 2017

Reflecting on the death of Moses, the writer of the 34th chapter of Deuteronomy said, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land.  For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”

At the 2017 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought, Bible scholar and Wyoming Catholic College professor Jeremy Holmes reflected on how the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land and the life of Moses illustrate the theme of Returning from Exile. Here is his lecture in its entirety.

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