November 16, 2021
“For no path,” wrote Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, “is more open to the soul for the formation thereof than through the ears. Therefore when rhymes and modes have penetrated even to the soul through these organs, it cannot be doubted that they affect the soul with their own character and conform it to themselves.”
Boethius lived from about AD 470 to 524 and is known primarily as a Roman scholar, a Christian philosopher, and a statesman. And it’s because he was a scholar, philosopher, and statesman that he became interested in music.
Prof. Christopher Hodkinson assigned Boethius’ “Fundamentals of Music” to Wyoming Catholic College juniors in the course Music in the Western tradition.
November 2, 2021
Because life is brief
and many are the pains
which, living and struggling, everyone sustains
let us follow our desires,
passing and consuming the years
because whoever deprives himself of pleasure,
to live with anguish and with worries
doesn’t know the tricks
of the world or by what ills
and by what strange happenings
all mortals are almost overwhelmed.
“Because life is brief…let us follow our desires” has a contemporary ring to it. Yet those words were penned in 1512 by the playwright and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli in his play La Mandragola, The Mandrake.
This semester, Dr. Tiffany Schubert is teaching Machiavelli’s play to Wyoming Catholic College juniors and it has led to amazing classroom conversations. Why would that be?
October 26, 2021
“Every generation of Americans,” writes Dr. Christopher Flannery, “from the beginning, has had to answer for itself the question: how should we live? Our answers, generation after generation, in war and in peace, in good times and bad times, in small things and in great things through the whole range of human affairs, are the essential threads of the larger American story.”
While our podcast typically features our Wyoming Catholic College faculty, last week Dr. Christopher Flannery was in Lander and is our guest this week. He is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, contributing editor of the Claremont Review of Books. He was a professor in the Honor’s College at Azusa Pacific University, where he taught for over 30 years.
Dr. Flannery earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge, his M.A., and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School, and an M.A. in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author and voice of “The American Story” podcast.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.