• 8 Lessons

    FRIENDSHIP AND FREEDOM in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: Part II

    JRR Tolkien’s great work, "The Lord of the Rings," continues to be prescient and relevant to our present situation. Through the vehicle of a secondary world, Tolkien explores universal questions of the human person’s place in a world of contesting forces. Tolkien examines the control of external, hostile forces over the human person and to what extent the person has freedom to respond. Tolkien masterfully responds both to the modernist elevation and exultation of human autonomy and the postmodernist devaluation of the same by presenting a strongly Christian understanding of free will and the human person’s inherent dignity and worth.
  • 8 Lessons

    KAROL WOJTYLA’S Love and Responsibility

    As a young priest and professor of philosophy, Karol Wojtyla gave himself over in a special way to the pastoral care of young couples. Grounded in the thought of Thomas Aquinas as well as phenomenological methods, Wojtyla brought his sharp philosophical intelligence and pastoral heart to bear on his experiences with these couples. The fruit of this was Love and Responsibility, Wojtyla’s first major philosophical work that lays a foundation for understanding his subsequent thought, especially his theology of the body. Love and Responsibility is a work of sexual ethics framed and informed by an adequate anthropology that does full justice to the human person in all of his or her dimensions. This course is chiefly a guided reading and discussion of this seminal work by this great saint, with a view not only to understanding Wojtyla’s teaching, but also (and especially) to reflecting on and perfecting ourselves as human persons whose sexuality provides both meaning and vocational trajectories in our lives.
  • 7 Lessons


    This course will focus on the novel "Kristin Lavransdatter", in three volumes 1920-1922, by the Norwegian Catholic writer Sigrid Undset. We will read the novel with reference to Undset's life and other work. "Kristin" is one of the greatest Catholic novels yet written, and it's popularity reignited after its second translation into English by Tiina Nunnally whose edition we will be reading. It's strongly recommended students read as much of the novel ahead of time as they can. The trilogy has nine parts, three per volume, that we will be treating in eight classroom settings. The Nunnally translation is available both in paperback and Kindle.

  • 8 Lessons


    Building on the foundational truths contained in Aristotle's "Metaphysics" and St. Thomas Aquinas's "De Ente et Essentia", this class will examine three chief topics: 1) the nature of participation, 2) the transcendentals, and 3) the place of metaphysics among the sciences. By delving into these topics we shall more deeply understand the Angelic Doctor's teachings not only on the nature of being and natural theology, but also on the way of proceeding proper to the metaphysician. The two main texts for this class are: An Exposition of "On the Hebdomads" of Boethius and The Division and Methods of the Sciences (both by St. Thomas Aquinas).