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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 10, 2021
Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner wrote, “Christians are, in their practical life, almost mere ‘monotheists.’ We would never know they believed in the Trinity, because nothing about their lives reflects trinitarian engagement.”
While Christians are monotheists—that is we believe in only one God—we are not what Rahner called mere monotheists. We believe there is one God who exists eternally as a Trinity of Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity,” as the hymnist put it.
On May 4, our podcast featured this week's guest, Dr. Jeremy Holmes, talking about his new book Cur Deus Verba: Why the WORD Became Words. The book is a theology of Scripture, but it begins with a chapter entitled “Why God Created: The Trinity.”
August 3, 2021
As the new Wyoming Catholic college freshmen—all 68 of them—left for their 21-day backpacking expedition, we reminded them that in freshman theology they’ll be studying God’s second book, The Bible. In the wilderness, they should read their Bibles, but they’re to concentrate on God’s first book, the created world. Mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, flowers, soil, birds, and animals.
That being said, however, in addition to studying the Bible freshman year, they’ll also be studying mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, flowers, soil, birds, and animals in a more systematic way in their freshman course on field science.
This week's guest, Dr. Paul Giesting has just joined the Wyoming Catholic College faculty to teach, among other things, field science.
July 27, 2021
As Aeneus becomes increasingly comfortable building Carthage with Queen Dido, the god Mercury appears to him. “You, so now you lay foundation stones for the soaring walls of Carthage! Building her gorgeous city, doting on your wife. Blind to your own realm, oblivious to your fate!” Aeneus is supposed to be headed for Italy to build Rome. Carthago delenda est--Carthage must be destroyed.
The final presentation at The Wyoming School of Catholic Thought this past June focused on the story of Aeneas and Dido from Virgil’s Aeneid, the great founding myth of Rome. The parallel with Antony and Cleopatra is obvious and was probably intended.
But there’s a most important difference: where Antony stayed in Egypt forsaking Rome, Aeneas fled Carthage for the sake of Rome.
At the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought, Dr. Tiffany Schubert offered this presentation about the two couples and the relationship of politics and eros.
July 20, 2021
The story of King David’s tryst with Bathsheba begins with these ominous words, “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel…. But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Samuel 11:1).
Just as David remained in Jerusalem “when kings go forth to battle,” the great Roman general, Mark Antony, remained in Egypt, captivated by Queen Cleopatra. “Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch/Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space,” he tells her.
The result as Shakespeare explains in the title of the play is “The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra.”
At the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought in June, Wyoming Catholic College professor Dr. Adam Cooper introduced Shakespeare’s play and its themes.
July 13, 2021
“Let me have men about me that are fat;
“Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.”
So said Julius Caesar to Mark Antony in Shakespeare's "Tragedy of Julius Caesar." Cassius was indeed dangerous as Caesar discovered on the Ides of March when a group of Senators led by Cassius stabed him to death.
They, for their part, believed their action represented the height of patriotism. Caesar would be king—an abomination in the Roman Republic. “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!” they shouted as Caesar’s blood dripped from their knives and hands.
Were Cassius, Brutus, and the rest patriots or treasonous monsters? Dante put Cassius and Brutus in the frozen bottom of Hell endlessly chewed by Satan chews along with Judas Iscariot. What was Shakespeare’s judgment on these men and their plot? And how should we look at the conspirators and their attempt to defend the republic from what they perceived as tyranny?
At the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought, the college’s adult learning week, in June, most of those conversations took place in seminar sessions, but Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos started the discussion with this introduction.