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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Angels and Demons, Blessing and Blindness, Hope and Exile: The Book of Tobit with Dr. Kent Lasnoski

January 9, 2018

The story of Tobit takes place during the exile in Assyria. When Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army took the people of Judah and Jerusalem into captivity, the people went with God’s promise of return. Two hundred years earlier, when the Assyrians captured Israel, that is, the Northern Kingdom, the people went into exile with no such promise or hope of returning. The so-called “ten lost tribes,” already thoroughly paganized in their religion, simply assimilated into Assyrian society.

But not Tobit. Though exiled, living in Nineveh, and working for the king, he had not apostatized like his fellow Israelites. He followed the Lord wholeheartedly and kept His commands carefully. Like Job he was brought low and like Job he finally saw his vindication.

Dr. Kent Lasnoski taught Tobit to Wyoming Catholic College freshmen during the fall semester.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part 3 with Dr. Ben Lockerd

January 2, 2018

“The answers to the errors of modern times need to be given in philosophy and theology,” wrote Dr. Benjamin Lockerd, “but it is essential that our students also experience the truth imaginatively.”

This is the third and final installment in our podcast series on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the Wyoming Catholic College 2017-18 Book of the Year. It’s a book that highlights the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts and one we especially recommend that you read and study.

Our guest on this third podcast is Dr. Benjamin Lockerd, Professor of English at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Lockerd is a member of the Wyoming Catholic College Catholic Scholars Advisory Board.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part 2 with Dr. Kent Lasnoski

December 26, 2017

Wandering lost in a wild land on Christmas Eve, Sir Gawain prayed, “I beg of you, O Lord, and Mary, that most merciful of mothers, and most dear, find me safe lodgings in some house, devoutly to hear Mass, and then your matins tomorrow morning. I meekly ask you, and to this purpose I promptly pray my Pater and my Ave, and Creed.”

Last week we looked at the fourteenth century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from a literary point of view. Our college president Dr. Glenn Arbery helped us understand the story, its structure, and its context.

But the anonymous author of the tale about Sir Gawain was interested in more than telling a good story. He had a clear theological and spiritual purpose as well. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an intensely Christian poem. To help us understand how that’s the case, our guest this week is theologian Dr. Kent Lasnoski.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part 1 with Dr. Glenn Arbery

December 19, 2017

It was Christmas time, and King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table gathered to celebrate the courted Camelot. Amid the merriment and mirth of New Year's Eve, a huge knight rode into the festive hall. He was clad in green armor that perfectly matched his green hair, green skin, and green horse. With him, he brought a holly branch, a huge battle ax, and a strange game.

Beginning this year, Wyoming Catholic College will select a book of the year, some work that highlights the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts. This year's book of the year is the anonymous 14th century masterpiece, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, wrote JRR Tolkien, “Is a romance, a fairy tale for adults, full of life and color.” In this, the first of three podcasts on the poem, Dr. Glenn Arbery, president of Wyoming Catholic College introduces us to this strange tale.

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The Word Became Flesh: St. Athanasius’ “On the Incarnation” with Dr. Jeremy Holmes

December 5, 2017

St. Athanasius was born in Alexandria, Egypt to Christian parents in about AD 298. From the time he was five until he was fourteen, he lived through the great and final persecution of Christians by Imperial Rome. As one scholar puts it, “All through the most impressionable years of his childhood he had not only learnt the Christian faith, he had seen it in action [in the lives of martyrs]. He had faced the possible of martyrdom himself; and he had made his own the faith for and by which the martyrs died….”

Athanasius, insofar as he is known at all, is remembered most for being the great polemicist who defended the Trinity and the deity of Christ against the wildly popular Arian heresy that denied both. Athanasius contra mundum, Athanasius against the world. Yet when he was a young man, before the advent of the theological controversy with the Arians, Athanasius wrote a delightful little catechetical book for his friend Macarius, On the Incarnation.

During this the first week of Advent, theologian Dr. Jeremy Holmes joins us to discuss that delightful and accessible book.

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