The After Dinner Scholar
The American Character and the Revolution with Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos

The American Character and the Revolution with Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos

October 19, 2021

In the preface to his History of Rome Livy wrote that he wanted to explore, “what was the life, what the mores, by what men, and by what arts—at home and at war—imperium was born and augmented.”

In the course, “Exodus and the American Vision,” What was the life, what the mores, by what men, and by what arts? are questions Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos’s senior humanities students are asking about the American character with the help of authors including John Adams, Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson, and others.

Creation and Preservation in St. Thomas Aquinas with Dr. Travis Dziad

Creation and Preservation in St. Thomas Aquinas with Dr. Travis Dziad

October 12, 2021

While Genesis 2 tells us that on the seventh day God rested, Thomas Aquinas noted, “It would seem that God did not rest on the seventh day from all His work. For it is said (John 5:17), ‘My Father worketh until now, and I work.’ God indeed ‘worketh until now’ by preserving and providing for the creatures He has made, but not by the making of new ones.”

Perhaps taking a cue from Aquinas, the hymnist wrote, “What God’s almighty power hath made His gracious mercy keepeth.” God made all things and preserves all things whatever “preserves all things” means.

Wyoming Catholic College theologian, Dr. Travis Dziad has been considering this question for some time now taking St. Thomas as his guide.

On Learning to Write with Dr. Jason Baxter

On Learning to Write with Dr. Jason Baxter

October 5, 2021

Someone once quipped, “Thoughts are formed as they pass out the lips or through the fingertips.” That is, speaking or writing gives our thinking clarity and precision.

And so at Wyoming Catholic College our students not only read the Great Books, but they discuss them and write about them.

As our freshmen discover, good discussion skills and good writing skills are not innate. They need to be learned and require study and diligent practice.

Dr. Jason Baxter this semester has been working with our freshmen as they improve their writing skills.

Aeneas: Journey into the Underworld with Dr. Adam Cooper

Aeneas: Journey into the Underworld with Dr. Adam Cooper

September 28, 2021

After fleeing the destruction of Troy while leading his young son and carrying his aged father, Aeneas wandered seven years across the Mediterranean. Finally, after his father's death, he and his ships made landfall in Italy. This was the land of his destiny. There he would conquer, establish the Trojans, and found the kingdom that would become Rome.

But before setting out to war, Aeneas told the Sibyl of Apollo, “Since here, they say, are the gates of Death’s king and the dark marsh where the Acheron comes flooding up, please, allow me to go and see my beloved father, meet him face-to-face.”

Dr. Adam Cooper has been reading Virgil’s Aeneid with our Wyoming Catholic College sophomores, guiding them as the Sibyl guided Aeneas into the Underworld.

Knowing God Through Reason and Revelation with Prof. Kyle Washut

Knowing God Through Reason and Revelation with Prof. Kyle Washut

September 21, 2021

In the first chapter of his letter to the Christians in Rome, St. Paul wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

History bears out the truth of St. Paul’s statement. You don’t need a Bible to know that God exists and that he is eternal, powerful, intelligent, just, and creative. We all live on the same planet, see the same nature, and are able to come to the same obvious conclusions—even if some people refuse.

Nonetheless, Christianity is not a nature religion. It is a revealed religion. God has spoken through the words of the inspired writers of Scripture and through the Church.

So where are the boundaries between what any human can understand about God through reason and what requires revelation?

Prof. Kyle Washut has been discussing just that with our Wyoming Catholic College sophomores as they read St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae together.

Aristotle‘s ”Categories” with Dr. Michael Bolin

Aristotle‘s ”Categories” with Dr. Michael Bolin

September 14, 2021

Aristotle’s Categories,” writes Davidson College Professor of Philosophy, David Studtmann, “is a singularly important work of philosophy. It not only presents the backbone of Aristotle’s own philosophical theorizing but has exerted an unparalleled influence on the systems of many of the greatest philosophers in the western tradition.”

And freshman philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College begins by being thrown into the deep end as students jump into Aristotle’s Categories. In that work, Aristotle outlines the framework needed to read and understand the works students will encounter later in their intellectual journey: The Physics, The Metaphysics, and The Nicomachean Ethics.

Their guide to The Categories this semester is our guest this week, Dr. Michael Bolin, whose specialties are the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle.

In Conversation with Ancient Greek and Latin with Prof. Stephen Hill

In Conversation with Ancient Greek and Latin with Prof. Stephen Hill

September 7, 2021

In the past few weeks, this podcast has featured introductions to two of three new faculty at Wyoming Catholic College: Dr. Paul Giesting and Dr. Daniel Shields. Today's podcast introduces the third, Prof. Stephen Hill.

Prof. Hill joins Wyoming Catholic College to teach humanities and the Latin program which, of course, is taught as spoken Latin. Prof. Hill also has proficiency in speaking classical Greek.

Snow in August and the Liberal Arts by Prof. Kyle Washut

Snow in August and the Liberal Arts by Prof. Kyle Washut

August 31, 2021

“The object of a new year,” quipped G. K. Chesterton, “is not that we should have a new year, but that we should have a new soul.”

While Mr. Chesterton probably had January 1st in mind, anyone in education—including students and parents—knows that the new year begins when school begins and our Wyoming Catholic College students are now in their second week of classes.

A week ago Sunday, as our freshmen matriculated at Wyoming Catholic College, thus beginning a new year, President Glenn Arbery and Dean Kyle Washut had some words of wisdom and encouragement. Last week’s podcast featured Dr. Arbery’s thoughts. This week, we’ll turn to Dean Washut as he discusses a distinctly Wyoming phenomenon all students has experience on their 21-day backpacking expedition: snow in August.

From the Mountains to the Classroom by Dr. Glenn Arbery

From the Mountains to the Classroom by Dr. Glenn Arbery

August 24, 2021

Last Saturday, we welcomed our 68 freshmen—our largest freshman class ever—back from their 21-day backpacking expedition. On Sunday, with students in their Sunday best and faculty garbed in their academic regalia, Msgr. Daniel Seiker, our Latin chaplain celebrated convocation Mass. After a brief break for refreshments, the college community gathered again for the annual matriculation ceremony.

At matriculation, freshmen are formally welcomed into our community of learning and each freshman comes forward to sign his or her name in the big leather-bound book that every freshman has signed since the school’s beginning.

As you might imagine, our college president, Dr. Glenn Arbery had some words of wisdom and encouragement for our freshmen. Here are Dr. Arbery’s remarks.

A Philosopher Reads St. Thomas Aquinas with Dr. Daniel Shields

A Philosopher Reads St. Thomas Aquinas with Dr. Daniel Shields

August 17, 2021

“Because philosophy arises from awe,” wrote St. Thomas Aquinas, “a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.”

Last week our guest on The After-Dinner Scholar was Dr. Paul Giesting, newly-arrived professor of mathematics and science. Today our guest is philosopher, Dr. Daniel Shields who is also new to the college faculty.

Dr. Shields did his undergraduate work at Thomas Aquinas College and received his PhD from the Catholic University of America. His main interest is in philosophy of nature and science, ethics, moral psychology, and medieval philosophy.

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