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.
November 14, 2017
What does it mean to be alive? How does the life of a pine tree differ from the life of a puppy differ from the life of a person? What is it that we possess through life, but lose in death? Is it a soul? And if so, what exactly is a soul?
In De Anima, On the Soul, Aristotle explored these questions, questions that while seemingly abstract remain critical to many of our current debates. The definition of “to be alive” is central to questions of abortion and euthanasia and the way we understand the human body and the human soul inform what we think about sexuality and marriage.
Our guest this week, Wyoming Catholic College philosophy professor Dr. Michael Bolin, specializes in the work of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. He is currently teaching De Anima to Wyoming Catholic College sophomores.
October 31, 2017
“The saints have no need of honour from us,” preached St. Bernard, “neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.”
Each year on November 1, we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints, remembering those brothers and sisters in Christ who lives demonstrated heroic virtue and faith. Perhaps by happy providence, perhaps by professorial cunning, Wyoming Catholic College professor Kyle Washut is teaching the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium to our seniors coming to chapter seven, “The Eschatological Nature of the Pilgrim Church and Its Union with the Church in Heaven” just in time for All Saints Day. Professor Washut is our guest this week to share what he and his students have been discussing.
October 24, 2017
When Wyoming Catholic College sophomores take Theology 201: The Mystery of the Trinity, they’re typically surprised that before diving into the theology of the Trinity, they’re up to their ears in philosophy. God exists. God is unmovable. God is eternal. God is necessary. God is everlasting. God is simple.
Such considerations need to come first since without them, theology can lose the moorings it needs in the intellect and in the world as it is.
To help us understand the place of philosophy in our theology, our guest this week is the professor who teaches Theology 201: The Mystery of the Trinity, theologian Dr. Jeremy Holmes.
Books Recommended by Dr. Holmes
- Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas Institute Edition)
- Who Designed the Designer?: A Rediscovered Path to God's Existence by Michael Augros
- Aquinas: An Introduction to the Life and Work of the Great Medieval Thinker by F. C. Copleston
- Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide) by Edward Feser
- A Summa of the Summa by Thomas Aquinas and Peter Kreeft
August 29, 2017
The great American experiment in religious liberty expressed in the words of the First Amendment to the Constitution was unprecedented in the eighteenth century, remains rare in the world today, and is under attack even in spite of the Constitution and the Western intellectual tradition that informed the Constitution.
Dr. James Tonkowich discusses religious liberty and introduces the free Wyoming Catholic College distance learning course "Religious Liberty in America."
To request your copy of the lectures, study guide, and Dr. Tonkowich's book The Liberty Threat, fill in your name and mailing address here.
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.
August 1, 2017
Who are we as Americans? Dr. Virginia Arbery, Associate Professor of Humanities at Wyoming Catholic College points out that the New England Puritan self-understanding is the root of our American self-understanding. Their sense of an exodus from England with a new beginning in the New World to found “A City on a Hill,” a New Jerusalem, remains with us today. Dr. Virginia Arbery is our guest on this edition of The After Dinner Scholar.
August 1, 2017
That imagery of the Exodus goes far beyond Moses leading the people of Israel in about 1446 BC. It was alive and well on the shores of New England in 1630 and remains with us today as what Wyoming Catholic College professor Dr. Virginia Arbery calls “the root of American self-understanding.”
Dr. Arbery spoke about the New England Puritans and the imagery of the Exodus at the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought this past June. Here is her lecture in its entirety.
The documents Dr. Arbery cites in her lecture are: The Mayflower Compact, "A Model of Christian Charity" by Governor John Winthrop and The Life of William Bradford and The Life of John Winthrop both from Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana
July 4, 2017
Throughout the Old Testament, there’s a familiar refrain: Remember. “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there.”
The Exodus—God’s saving work among the Israelites whereby He brought them from slavery, through the Red Sea, across the wilderness, and into the Promised Land of Canaan—is the primary and paradigmatic act of salvation in the Old Testament and the event the New Testament writers looked to in order to understand faith in Jesus.
Bible scholar and Wyoming Catholic College professor Dr. Jeremy Holmes discusses how the Exodus as critical to understanding how we as Christians return from exile.
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.