This year-long course will serve as an introduction to the concept of the “Catholic Imagination” – two thousand years of literary works that reflect perhaps the most human activity, bringing a concept into intellectual reality. Each lecture will provide a basic summary of a work of literature, an overview of its historical context, and finally consider the major questions of faith that make these works perennially relevant. Join us for a journey into the world of the Catholic imagination!
The Scriptures exhort us to “be holy as the Lord your God is holy.” But what does this holiness look like and how can we attain it? In this class, developed and taught by Mr. Daniel Daniel Campbell, we will study God’s plan for our holiness and how His grace assists us in a life of holiness, especially through prayer and conversion. We will study the different kinds of prayer (liturgical, unceasing, vocal, and mental prayer) and how we are to pray – how to put oneself in the presence of God, the method of meditation, how to deal with difficulties in prayer (distractions and aridities, consolations and desolations, and other obstacles). We will also study conversion, the ordinary growth of union with God in the life of the baptized as we are drawn through the “three conversions” – justification, by which we enter the “Purgative Way”, the dark night of the senses, by which we enter the “Illuminative Way”, and the dark night of the spirit/soul, by which we enter the “Unitive Way”.
The Catholic Church has inspired the greatest art in the history of the world. Drawing upon the Incarnation of the Son of God, the Church has inculcated a sacramental imagination used to express faith tangibly in visual art, architecture, literature, and music. This class, developed and taught by Dr. Jared Staudt of the Archdiocese of Denver, will explore 2,000 years of Christian art, tracing its stages from its foundation in the early Church, to the splendor of the Middle Ages and the Baroque era, and its decline through the secularism of modern culture. The course will look at the major artists and masterpieces of Christian culture, as well as the historical and spiritual movements that shaped them.
Previous Enrichment Courses
This course, developed and taught by Dr. Seth Fabian, teaches the student to read the Divine Comedy as Dante intended us to: as a work of practical literature for Christians striving to be more Christ-like…literally a guide to salvation. We will follow Dante’s footsteps and see how pride and selfishness create chaos on Earth and lead to Hell (Inferno), how the human soul purifies itself by learning to desire and love rightly (Purgatorio), and how our journey ultimately leads us back to our origin in the shared vision of our Creator (Paradiso). Lectures will focus on Dante’s portrayal of human desires and the consequences for good and ill of our daily choices. Above all, the class will examine a Catholic poet and his Catholic poem. The beauty of Dante’s poetry, the uncanny realism of his psychology, and his awesome descriptive powers are always in the service of his ultimate purpose: demonstrating Truth as revealed in the lived experiences of the souls he encounters in Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Divine Comedy is a call to conversion that demands a response from its audience, which will be the focus of class discussions. Let us use Dante as a lens to examine our daily choices and life-long aspirations!
In his address to catechists concerning the New Evangelization, then Cardinal Ratzinger stated the following regarding the relationship between evangelization and happiness: “To evangelize means: to show this path [to happiness] – to teach the art of living.” The notion of an art to living that we are to pass on to others as the source of happiness has been lost in our post-modern culture that denies any certainty of happiness from a singular way of life. With this course, we will explore what the Catholic Intellectual Tradition has articulated as the art of living, as the true path to happiness. The course is a comprehensive presentation of the classical worldview for ethics, understood as the teleological pursuit of happiness through the acquisition and practice, by grace, of the natural and supernatural virtues. The course will be taught from the standpoint of both nature with the philosophers, preeminently articulated by Aristotle, and, this being the natural foundation to the grace filled life of Christ in the soul, supernature with the Church, preeminently articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas. It is meant to propose to the students a different understanding of the moral life than that of modernity and systematically march through each aspect of such, detailing what each is and how all are interrelated, so that the student comes to understand that there is a rationally intelligible craft to life that will fulfill their telos. More broadly speaking, the overarching intent of the course is to examine what it means to think and act like a rational human being, and subsequently the same as it concerns the life of Christ in the soul for the grace filled Catholic.