The question of how Christians should live in our current era is a live and open one. At the 2017 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought, Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski our Academic Dean spoke about Romano Guardini, Charles Taylor, our current culture, and the options we can consider. Here is his lecture in its entirety.
Fr. Romano Guardini, a professor at the University of Berlin at the time, witnessed first-hand the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, the destruction wrought by World War II, and the cultural and social aftermath. Coming out of that experience he wrote The End of the Modern World in 1957.
In this podcast, Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski, Academic Dean at Wyoming Catholic College, discusses Guardini’s observations as they are related to the theme of exile and our present day.
(Photo by Greg Tonkowich)
At the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought this past June, Wyoming Catholic College Academic Dean Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski began his lecture stating, “Plato’s cave is a television set.” And beginning with the question of why study Plato at all, he discussed our exile from the real, an exile that can only be remedied by grace and contemplation.
Dr. Kozinski is this week's guest on The After Dinner Scholar.
We live in a postmodern culture. It’s something we did not choose and cannot avoid. And, as Wyoming Catholic College Academic Dean Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski argued last week, it’s not an entirely bad state of affairs since modernity was rife with problems—problems highlighted by two world wars and the tyranny of ideologies falsely branded as scientific.
This week Dr. Kozinski looks deeper into postmodernity and some of the conflicts within our current culture. We'll discover that understanding postmodernity is thus necessary to understand the world in which we live, ourselves, our children, and the prospects for the future.
The term “postmodern” is used regularly today. Barak Obama was dubbed the first postmodern president. ISIS has been called a postmodern terrorist group. Postmodernism, we’re told, has taken over higher education and is a threat to Western civilization and to Christianity. At the same time, there are churches that cheerfully brand themselves as postmodern.
So what is Postmodernism? Is it a philosophy? A means of analysis? An aesthetic? An attitude? Is it a reaction against the rationalism, scientism, and authority of modernity? Is it an attempt to unmoor and destroy Western civilization?
To answer at least some of those questions this podcast and the one next week feature Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski who, among other things, teaches Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and other postmoderns to seniors here at Wyoming Catholic College.
Politics had become a mess as politicians and their constituents gave up seeking the common good for seeking more goods for themselves and their friends. Rampant individualism was the rule of the day and justice, if mentioned at all, was merely a pretext for self-seeking.
Against that backdrop of a decaying political culture, Plato wrote The Republic. In it Socrates challenged the prevailing notions of justice and described what he viewed as true justice in individuals and in society.
Dr. Virginia Arbery, Associate Professor of Humanities at Wyoming Catholic College holds a doctorate in Political Philosophy from The University of Dallas. She has a great love for The Republic, happily sharing the book with her students and with us.
It was the 1970s and the young radical noticed the politically conservative bumper stickers on the car of a new acquaintance and an argument began immediately. It was hot and heavy until the radical’s new friend stopped and said, “You are delightfully dumb. I am going to undertake the task of educating you.”
The “delightfully dumb” radical is known today as Fr. Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and president and founder of The Acton Institute. The story of how a ‘70s radical became a stalwart defender of Christian truth and economic liberty involves a huge pile of book.
Fr. Sirico, our guest on this podcast, was the commencement speaker at Wyoming Catholic College this past weekend
You may already be aware that Wyoming Catholic College freshmen begin their four-year journey into the Liberal Arts with a twenty-one day journey into the Wyoming Wilderness. What you may not know is that the freshman expedition is an integral part of their liberal arts education. It prepares them intellectually and spiritually for their studies.
Immersed in the natural world, they gaze at the stars, they marvel at speckled trout, they grasp stony crags at the summit of mountains topping 12,000 feet, they look into the faces of wildflowers, and they shudder at the voice of the thunder. Through it all, the feeling of awe, of wonder grows and with it the desire to know.
To talk about why encountering nature is so vital in a Liberal Arts education, we are joined by Dr. Stanley Grove, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Dr. Grove in addition to being a great outdoorsman himself spends hours in the woods and meadows around Lander teaching field science.
“What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?” asks a student as he considers murder as a road to justice. If one death could mean liberation for many, why not kill? For him it's just a hypothetical question, but at a nearby table Radion Raskolnikov listens, takes in the argument, and later kills.
In Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky considers what happens after the blood is shed: the confusion, the remorse, the justifications, the anguish, and finally in Raskolnikov's case redemption. Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities here at Wyoming Catholic College has been reading Crime and Punishment with our senior class. Inthis podcast, he shares his and their insights into this exploration of the human heart.
Everything in this world changes and yet at the same time, everything seems to remain the same. That observation is hardly new. In fact, between about 625 BC and 450 BC the question of the nature of reality and the nature of motion and change were the primary focuses of the great thinkers of the era, thinkers we call the pre-Socratic philosophers.
This week, Dr. Michael Bolin, Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy who has been teaching the pre-Socratics to our freshmen here at Wyoming Catholic discusses these earliest philosophers and the ways in which they can help us understand our world and culture today.