The After Dinner Scholar
The Medieval Experience of Beauty with Dr. Jason Baxter

The Medieval Experience of Beauty with Dr. Jason Baxter

June 23, 2020

“One will observe,” wrote St. Thomas Aquinas, “that all things are arranged according to their degrees of beauty and excellence, and that the nearer they are to God, the more beautiful and better they are.”

While we hear the word “beauty” a great deal today—beauty products, beauty salons, beautiful people, “that fish was a beauty”—it’s safe to say that few people are thinking about beauty in the very Medieval way of St. Thomas, that the experience of beauty today is different than it was for Thomas’s contemporaries.

The question of the Medieval experience of beauty is one that Dr. Jason Baxter has been exploring this summer in a class for our friends at The University of St. Thomas and will continue to explore during the fall semester while he is on sabbatical.

Falling Inward: Humanities in the Age of Technology with Dr. Jason Baxter

Falling Inward: Humanities in the Age of Technology with Dr. Jason Baxter

March 13, 2018

“I begin this book, on the humanities,” writes Wyoming Catholic College Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities, Dr. Jason Baxter, “with a description of travel, because I think the experience of being immersed in a world of surprises, like I was in Ischia, and the experience of reading a ‘great book’… is fundamentally analogous.”

Dr. Baxter goes on to write that his just-released book Falling Inward: Humanities in the Age of Technology is an answer to the question, “How is the profound sense of travel like the experience of reading?” Both are fundamentally the experience he calls “falling inward.”

To discuss his book and the meaning of its title, Dr. Baxter is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.

Order Dr. Baxter's book, Falling Inward from Cluny Media or Amazon.

Great Music Amid the Great Books with Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

Great Music Amid the Great Books with Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

June 6, 2017

While Dr. Peter Kwasniewski is Professor of Theology and Philosophy, he also teaches courses on music and art, emphasizing the importance of the beautiful along with the good and the true.

Ignorance of the great works of music, he wrote at The Imaginative Conservative, “is as bad for someone who seeks to be educated in Western (and Catholic) culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, Plato and Aristotle in philosophy, Augustine and Aquinas in theology.”

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

Gothic Cathedrals: The Architecture of Contemplation with Dr. Jason Baxter

Gothic Cathedrals: The Architecture of Contemplation with Dr. Jason Baxter

April 4, 2017

Gothic cathedrals are certainly wonders of architectural imagination and engineering ingenuity. But, according to Dr. Jason Baxter, Wyoming Catholic College’s Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities they are far more than that.

"The Gothic Cathedral," says Dr. Baxter, "is architecture of contemplation. Born in the great age of the masters of the interior life, the cathedral gave physical shape to contemplation, but it also invited it, incited it, evoked it, performed it within. In a word, it created silence, a richness of experience that is wordless only because it is too deep for words."