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Magdalen College: From the Summit

Education Podcasts

Engaging conversations with faculty and friends of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.

Engaging conversations with faculty and friends of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.

Location:

United States

Description:

Engaging conversations with faculty and friends of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.

Language:

English


Episodes

Freedom on a Mountain: Anthony Esolen with Ryan Messmore

10/13/2021
In this episode, Anthony Esolen, Professor and Writer-in-residence at Magdalen College is interviewed by President Ryan Messmore. They discuss Dr. Esolen's recent article in The Catholic Thing about how students find freedom on our mountain home of Mt. Kearsarge, NH. What is true freedom? How is freedom related to the notion of telos or purpose? And why is it liberating for students to study works by authors who followed Christ as well as those who didn’t?

Duration:00:41:46

The Logos Who Is Love: An Interview with Magdalen President Ryan Messmore

9/29/2021
In this episode, Dr. Messmore discusses the academic mission of Magdalen College, explaining why it’s so important to see the world as being created by the Logos who is Love.

Duration:00:36:37

Solidarity: An Interview with Academic Dean Brian FitzGerald

9/16/2021
In this episode, Dr. Messmore interviews Dr. FitzGerald about his background and journey to becoming Magdalen's Academic Dean. The two discuss the recent First Things Intellectual Retreat, which is held each summer in New York City with Magdalen College faculty members leading the seminars. This year's theme was "Solidarity", and Messmore and FitzGerald revisit some of the questions and insights that stemmed from the retreat.

Duration:00:31:32

Podcast Relaunch: An Interview with the New President of Magdalen

9/2/2021
In this inaugural episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore sits down for an interview about relaunching the podcast and beginning a new year at Magdalen. President Messmore delivers a message of hope along with updates about many of the exciting things that are happening at the College. Stay tuned for the next episode with our academic dean, Dr. FitzGerald, and regular interviews with Dr. Anthony Esolen.

Duration:00:43:25

“On Teaching and Translating Dante” (Anthony Esolen Episode 9)

3/24/2020
“Dante and Shakespeare divide the world. There is no third.”—T.S. Eliot In this conversation, Anthony Esolen discusses his experiences reading Dante as an undergraduate, translating the great poet, and teaching the Commedia to undergraduates in turn. What prompted him to begin translating Dante? What was the hierarchy of values that guided him in the work of translation? He also offers commentary on the great Princeton professor—a scholar of Dante and Boccaccio—Robert Hollander—and...

Duration:00:33:18

"The Power of the Powerless" (Anthony Esolen Episode 8)

3/14/2020
"The human things come first." Anthony Esolen discusses his reading and teaching of Václav Havel's "Power of the Powerless" (with asides on Hannah Arendt and C.S. Lewis) and the dangers of "political knitting clubs." He also considers the parallels between excellent brewing and excellent teaching while also noting how the Catholic faith and liberal education be taken up for ideological reasons. Finally, he introduces and reads his dramatic-epistolary monologue "Saint Paul to Gamaliel" from...

Duration:00:40:47

"He doesn't want our contentment but our joy and salvation" (Anthony Esolen Episode 7)

2/24/2020
Anthony Esolen discusses an upcoming essay in First Things on hymn texts and an article for Chronicles Magazine on fascist imagery in American federal art and sculpture. He also considers the Vipers' Tangle by Francois Mauriac, a book he is currently teaching in his Honors Colloquium, "The Literature of Spiritual Crisis." How might such a book shape how we see marriage and the world, directing our decisions? Finally, he introduces and reads his surprising dramatic monologue "The Demoniac...

Duration:00:39:37

"Benedict, Boethius, and Bosco" (Anthony Esolen Episode 6)

2/24/2020
Anthony Esolen discusses his recent lecture "The Boethius Option" elaborating on Boethius as a model for cultural and political engagement as well as the examples of St. Benedict and St. John Bosco. He also takes up the critical role that imagination, literature, and song play in the formation of our character and the character of our children. Finally, he introduces and reads a new hymn-poem "I shall arise, and seek my Father's house" (to be sung to the tune "Old 124th") from his poem “The...

Duration:00:35:35

Mary Mumbach: "The Genres of Poetry: A Mapping that Takes Us Back to the Text"

2/11/2020
How can an understanding of the genres of literature and poetry--lyric, comedy, tragedy, and epic--serve as doorways into a deeper experience not only of the works that we love most but also of the movements of the human soul? In this dialogue, Mary Mumbach, a senior member of the college's faculty, considers the classic genres in light of the profound reflections offered by Louise Cowan and in their reception by the students of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts. She reflects on how an...

Duration:00:27:50

Peter Sampo: "On the Renewal of Catholic Education"

2/8/2020
In this dialogue, Dr. Peter Sampo, the college’s founding president, takes up the principles that should guide any renewal of Catholic education. Foremost is the spirit of joy: "Pursuing the life of the mind is the most joyful thing there is and everything that comes with that should be joyful as well ... The spirit of the whole place should be a celebration." He also considers how we can emulate the intellectual excellence of the great Catholic universities of the Middle Ages, the role...

Duration:00:19:02

Mary Mumbach: "The Poetic Imagination"

2/5/2020
Can literature (poetry) enable us to return to reality and to the self-evident? In this dialogue, Mary Mumbach, a senior member of the college's faculty, considers the nature of the poetic imagination and how the movements and gestures of the soul manifest themselves in the great literary genres and forms. Woven within this consideration are Aristotle's Poetics, Melville's Moby Dick, Jacques Maritain's Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry, Fr. William Lynch's Images of Imagination, and the...

Duration:00:14:50

"The eyes, the eyes!" (Anthony Esolen Episode 5)

12/16/2019
Anthony Esolen discusses a forthcoming book—Unreal City—and the stirrings of what might become a commentary on the Gospel of John. He also takes up four great novels that have been overlooked too often by too many: The Betrothed, Vipers’ Tangle, The Clown, and Barrabas. Finally, he introduces and reads the dramatic monologue “Pontius Pilate to Claudius” from his poem “The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord.” Links of potential interest: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord Manzonoi's...

Duration:00:30:08

Mary Mumbach: "An Education for Heroism"

12/16/2019
In this dialogue, Mary Mumbach, a senior member of the college's faculty, considers what it means to experience "an education for heroism." Ranging widely to include Shakespeare, and Benedict XVI, she takes up the question of how we educate students to live heroically, seeking a wisdom born of imagination and paradox. While reflecting on the wisdom of her teachers, she offers thoughts on the place of the poetic imagination in the arts and in her life of teaching and learning. Links of...

Duration:00:22:32

“Smelling Salts in the Thurible" (Anthony Esolen Episode 4)

12/16/2019
In this conversation, Anthony Esolen takes up that unique Biblical language known as “NAB-ish” and considers what vandals have wrought upon our classic hymns. He takes us through his teaching of “The Literature of Spiritual Crisis”—Cicero, Boethius, and Shakespeare—and renders his judgement on what he considers to be the greatest play ever written. Dr. Esolen also gives us an unforgettable reading of his dramatic monologue, “Saint Peter,” from his poem "The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord"...

Duration:00:31:37

"It is like the difference between filet mignon and cardboard." (Anthony Esolen Episode 3)

12/16/2019
A conversation with Anthony Esolen about the vibrancy and life-giving power of the classroom and the hope that today's Catholic students can give us for the future of the Church and society. Dr. Esolen also discusses and reads two lyrics from his poem, "The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord" (16 and 29), considers the diversity of blessedness, and suggests New Jersey's role in inspiring Dante's great poem. Links of potential interest: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord by Anthony...

Duration:00:25:11

Mary Mumbach: "The Urgency of Liberal Education"

12/16/2019
A conversation with Mary Mumbach, a senior member of the college's faculty and Dean emerita, about the urgency of liberal education. Throughout the conversation she considers the nature of liberal education and teaching while reflecting on her own teachers. She also considers how the teacher, the curriculum, classic books, and the concept of paideia cohere and are ordered to a transcendent purpose within her vision of liberal education. Mumbach's "The courage of reason and the scandal of...

Duration:00:23:54

“We can’t get through the day without telling a lie to ourselves.” (Anthony Esolen Episode 2)

12/16/2019
A conversation with Anthony Esolen about Sigrid Undset and how her life and work teach us not only about the past and ourselves but also how it indicates a way forward in our current moment. He also takes up the categories of Catholic literature and overlooked authors such as Henryk Sienkiewicz. Esolen concludes by discussing and reading a dramatic monologue from his poem, "The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord" (Bartimaeus) and reflects on the forgotten purpose of poetry and art. The...

Duration:00:38:20

"It is broken metrically to describe a civilization in rubble." (Anthony Esolen Episode 1)

12/16/2019
"To heck with college professors," he says halfway through. In this conversation, Anthony Esolen discusses reading and teaching Whitman and Eliot and considers the paradox of classically trained revolutionaries in the arts. Dr. Esolen also introduces and discusses his poem The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord and reads a hymn from that poem (17). Be sure not to miss his impersonation of Marlon Brando. Links of potential interest: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord by Anthony Esolen T.S....

Duration:00:25:35

Peter Sampo: "Making visible the invisible realities of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty."

12/8/2019
With "Good afternoon, my fellow Americans," Dr. Peter Sampo, the college’s founding president, begins this address on the occasion of the college's forty-first commencement exercises at which he received an honorary degree. In this address Dr. Sampo considers the extraordinary education the college offers within the broader landscape of contemporary culture, concluding with a call to live lives of extraordinary courage. Links of potential interest: Peter Sampo on "Paideia" Magdalen...

Duration:00:13:04