Weekly conversations about the Liberal Arts and The Great Books with Wyoming Catholic College professors, board members,and guests.
Laughing at Perfection with Mr. Kevin Milligan
It may be hard to believe, but the Catholic Church has a patron saint of humor: Philip Neri who noted that, “A cheerful and glad spirit attains to perfection much more readily than a melancholy spirit.” And my observation is that we can become cheerful and glad people as we laugh.
Last week The After-Dinner Scholar featured Wyoming Catholic College senior, Miss Amanda Johnson, talking about her theologically rich oration about horsemanship as an aid to restoring our fallen humanity.
This week senior Kevin Milligan discusses his philosophically rich oration was entitled: “Laughing at Perfection: A Classification of Laughter and a Defense of Its Role in the Natural Perfection of Man.”
Horsemanship: An Art to Aid the Restoration of Fallen Man with Miss Amanda Johnson
Winston Churchill once quipped, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Wyoming Catholic College senior, Miss Amanda Johnson enthusiastically agrees.
Last week was senior oration week at Wyoming Catholic. As I explained last week, our seniors write a thesis in the fall and after Christmas break present some portion of their work in a half hour lecture followed by a half hour of questions from a faculty panel and from their peers.
Topics ranged from the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins to nostalgia in Willa Cather’s novels, from the chiastic structure of St. Augustine’s Confessions to cryptography, from hunting to horsemanship—the topic of this podcast. Our guest is Miss Amanda Johnson, one of our star horsewomen.
Rhetoric and Senior Orations with Dr. Virginia Arbery
Mark Twain observed, “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” I suspect that our Wyoming Catholic College seniors can relate.
In the fall semester, Wyoming Catholic College seniors write theses on topics of their choosing. This week, at the beginning of Spring semester, each senior will share his or her thesis research with the college community in a senior oration. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday classes are canceled and each member of the class of 2021 will deliver a half hour lecture followed by a half hour of questions put to them by a faculty panel and by their fellow students.
Dr. Virginia Arbery teaches rhetoric, the foundation of the senior orations and she shares with us the place of rhetoric and public speaking in a Wyoming Catholic College education.
Dante: "The Infinite Beauty of the World" with Dr. Jason Baxter
In his Divine Comedy, writes Wyoming Catholic College professor Dr. Jason Baxter, Dante “intentionally gathered creatures, places, landscapes, and practices from across the world and types of encyclopedic texts and then filled his book with their imagines; and, second, the poet consistently and insistently constructs moment in which we—along with the pilgrim—must take it all in at a glance, as if we are viewing the whole imago mundi from above.”
That quotation from Dr. Baxter comes from his new scholarly book, The Infinite Beauty of the World: Dante’s Encyclopedia and the Names of God published in time for the commemoration of Dante Alighiri’s death in 1321. And certainly anyone who has read the Commedia is well acquainted with the whirl of images and ideas contained in every Canto.
In this edition of The After-Dinner Scholar, Dr. Baxter discusses his new scholarly book as well as making Dante accessible to non-scholars.
In a Snow Cave in the Shadow of the Grand Teton with Bob Milligan
Most people, when winter sets in, are willing to go out now and again, but would rather sit by a fire with a hot beverage reading. No doubt our Wyoming Catholic College freshmen would enjoy that, but instead this week they’re camping in the shadow of the Grand Teton.
Just as our freshmen arrive early for fall semester so that they can spend three weeks backpacking, so they arrived early for spring semester head out into the wilderness—this time a cold snowy wilderness—for a week of backpacking, camping, cross-country skiing, and a day of alpine skiing.
Bob Milligan (Class of 2018) is on the staff of Wyoming Catholic College's COR Expeditions. He has been working on the freshmen winter trip logistics was kind enough to take a brief time out to tell us about the trip.
The Ancient City and the Modern State with Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos
Regarding the civilizations of ancient Rome and Greece, Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges wrote in 1864, “What we have received from them leads us to believe that we resemble them. We have some difficulty in considering them as foreign nations; it is almost always ourselves that we see in them. Hence spring many errors.”
The ancient city, writes Coulanges, was in essence a religious association. The gods of each city, the soil of each city, and the people of each city were unique. Thus the only civic conceivable was the city.
Then something changed. Or rather multiple things changed.
Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos uses Coulanges book The Ancient City as a way of bridging how citizenship was understood in the ancient world of Plato’s Athens or Coriolanus’s Rome and how citizenship came to be understood beginning with Augustine’s City of God. Dr. Papadopoulos is our guest this week.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great intellectual podcast, God bless you!
Great podcast. Deep intellectual dive.
Great podcast! Jim is such a great interviewer. Only wish he could video interview staff through this pandemic.