show episodes
 
We’re wandering between two worlds. Modernity as we knew it is passing away, and the next world is yet to be born. Like Dante, we are in a dark wood, struggling to know how to think and how to live. Virgil guided Dante with the light of natural reason, then Beatrice illuminated the path to Paradise with Christian revelation. Welcome to the Beatrice Institute Podcast, where Christian faith and reason illuminate the best of academic thinking and research. How should we think and live in this t ...
 
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show series
 
The liberal tradition frames the story of modernity as the gradual victory of freedom against state hegemony. Liberty, the consent of the people to be governed, and individual rights are the mainstay of western society. But are we really more free than before? What if freedom isn’t what we think? Historian and theologian Andrew Willard Jones talks …
 
The modern conception of how time unfolds leaves us trapped in a chronological sequence with no return to the past; but is it true that “you can’t go back”? In the second part of their conversation, Matthew and Ryan discuss how the past can erupt into the present; why cultivating these temporal possibilities must be an ecumenical project; the way i…
 
We often think of the time before the birth of Jesus Christ in terms of the Old Testament. But what about the humans in other parts of the world, long before the history of Israel begins? Art historian Matthew Milliner joins Ryan to discuss how "the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world" might have been present in cultures tens of tho…
 
Although the intersection of faith and artificial intelligence is a modern topic, it can be seen as a new version of an old question famously posed by Tertullian: what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem? Today’s podcast guest, Derek Schuurman—computer scientist, author, and professor at Calvin University—rephrases that question for those living …
 
Healthcare workers have been lauded as heroes during the pandemic; but even as nurses and other medical employees have been praised for their service, COVID-19 has exposed many of them to long hours, dangerous working conditions, and lack of resources. Although COVID may have magnified these problems in an unprecedented way, they are hardly new cha…
 
In this episode, Ryan interviews historian Brad Gregory, Henkels Family College Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. In his book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society, Brad connects the Reformation in surprising and sometimes controversial ways to the making of the modern world, from secularizat…
 
As technology develops at an ever more rapid pace, it can seem that ethics struggles to keep up with it. While science and technology advance by building on discoveries of the past, virtue and moral knowledge must be cultivated afresh in every individual and each generation. This is where Brian Green comes in. As director of technology ethics at th…
 
On this episode of the podcast, Grant interviews Ted Castronova, Professor of Media at Indiana University and author Life is a Game: What Game Design Says about the Human Condition. Mathematical game theory defines a game as anything that has players making strategic choices to achieve an outcome that matters to them. From this, Ted argues that lif…
 
In her book The Permeable Self, Barbara Newman—John Evans Professor of Latin, as well as English, Classics, and History at Northwestern University—explores the importance of coinherence in the medieval view of personhood. This is the concept that persons are profoundly interconnected, existing not in isolation but “in” each other. One illustration …
 
In April of 2019, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention published a document called “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles.” Armed with the belief that God has created humans with both the ability to invent new technologies and the wisdom to answer new dilemmas those technolo…
 
In the United States, deaths of despair—from alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide—have risen sharply in the past decades. Many countries have recognized levels of social disconnection so high that they have become a public health crisis; both Japan and the U.K. have appointed Ministers of Loneliness in the hopes of answering this need for community …
 
The birth rate in the United States is the lowest it’s ever been. Between rising costs of living and anxiety about humanity’s impact on the environment, people are having fewer children than ever. And yet surveys indicate that we still want babies, and want them in larger numbers than they’re being born. Demographer and pro-natalist Lyman Stone joi…
 
From weaponized drones to dancing robots, artificial intelligence has become the locus of many hopes and anxieties about humanity’s future. In the face of rapid technological development, finding the golden mean between utopian daydreams and dystopian forecasts can seem an impossible project. Robert J. Marks—professor of Electrical and Computer Eng…
 
Micah Redding, a computer programmer by training, a follower of Christ, and now the executive director of the Christian Transhumanist Association, joins Gretchen to discuss the history and future of transhumanism, the impact of artificial intelligence, and the role of Christians in this technological age. Together they ask, “Can Christians embrace …
 
Amy Adamczyk joins Grant to discuss some of the most contentious topics in American culture. Why are Catholics, mainline Protestants, and Jews so bad at transmitting their faith to their children? Why have attitudes on abortion not liberalized over time the way views on homosexuality and marijuana use have? What can we learn from comparing Chinese …
 
Anne Carpenter joins Ryan to discuss the intersection of history, tradition, art, and theology. What is the difference between ressourcement and genealogy? Are art and theology the same thing? What can video games teach us about theology? How can everyday Christians contribute to renewing the theological tradition? Anne is associate professor of th…
 
Dr. Dan Hall is a surgeon and an Episcopal priest who, in addition to teaching at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, performs surgeries and conducts research at the VA health system. Dan joins Grant for a provocative exploration of the intersections of physical and spiritual health, the adva…
 
Get to know the Beatrice Institute podcast hosts, Ryan McDermott and Grant Martsolf, as they take turns interviewing each other. In this wide-ranging conversation, Ryan and Grant explore utilitarian tendencies in higher education, what religious institutes can offer a university community, and the relationship between immortality and incorruptibili…
 
Dr. Karina Schumann is an assistant professor and the social program chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on identifying factors that help people successfully manage their conflicts and respond to challenging social interactions in prosocial ways. She leads the Conflict Resolution (CORE) Lab at…
 
Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger is assistant professor of English and the director of The Great Conversation program at Gordon College. Corey Sparks is assistant professor of English at California State University at Chico, where he teaches courses on medieval literature, literary theory, poetry, and the digital humanities. Kerilyn and Corey join Elise to…
 
Philipp Rosemann is chair of philosophy at Maynooth University in Ireland and the editor of the Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations series. A native of Germany who studied in Ireland and Belgium, Philipp joins Ryan for a frank discussion of the spiritual wasteland of contemporary Irish culture. Drawing upon themes from Philipp’s latest book, the…
 
Ben Miller is the chief strategy officer for Well Being Trust, a national foundation advancing the mental, social, and spiritual health of the nation. Ben joins Grant to discuss the importance of an holistic approach to health and the challenges facing those with mental health issues as they navigate the tangled health delivery system.…
 
In this episode, Elise talks with Noah Toly, professor of Urban Studies and Politics & International Relations at Wheaton College. They discuss the urban and built environment’s capability of shaping our desires and relationships, the role that the tragic plays in global environmental governance, and the ways we might rethink vocation in an increas…
 
Jessica Hooten Wilson is an author and speaker dedicated to the questions: What are the great stories and how do we pass them on? She is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence and a professor of Humanities and Classical Education at the University of Dallas. She is the 2019 recipient of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities. Jessica joins Grant to discu…
 
Michael Sacasas is an independent scholar focusing on technology and culture. Michael joins Elise to talk about the way technology shapes our society. They discuss the role media can have in disintegrating a sense of the common good and why technology tends to reflect ourselves back to us. Together they ask: Is online “real life”? What constitutes …
 
Samuel Hazo is a lifelong Pittsburgher, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Pennsylvania’s first Poet Laureate. In this episode, Samuel describes his earliest memories of Pittsburgh, what it was like growing up in Squirrel Hill and East Liberty (where he was a Cub Scout), and attending Notre Dame in the 1940s. He also shares his memories of…
 
Jason Baxter is an associate professor of fine arts and humanities at Wyoming Catholic College and a prolific writer. He has published or completed five books since 2018, including A Beginner’s Guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy and The Infinite Beauty of the World: Dante’s Encyclopedia and the Names of God. Jason joins Ryan to discuss all things Divin…
 
Marilyn McEntyre is a steward of words. She has taught courses on English and medical humanities, and she has written or edited over twenty books, including Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. Marilyn joins Elise to discuss the meaning of four words: dwelling, compassion, truth, and awe. Marilyn discusses why she loves participles and how “Chris…
 
Cohosts Ryan McDermott and Elise Lonich Ryan have a conversation about the art that has accompanied them through 2020. They discuss the mysterious ending of Pulitzer-nominated Heroes of the Fourth Turning, a play that explores the political beliefs of four conservative Catholics and has had multiple runs on Zoom. Ryan and Elise share a love of Mari…
 
Andrew DeCort is founder of the neighbor-love movement and author of the book Bonhoeffer’s New Beginning: Ethics after Devastation. Andrew tells John about how witnessing state violence changed his view of vocation and inspired him to start the neighbor-love movement. He discusses how his vocation as an ethicist is to live with and for others, how …
 
Jessica Mesman is founder of the blog Sick Pilgrim and coauthor of Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters. Her essays have been published in US Catholic, Lit Hub, Elle, Vox, America, and Christianity Today. Jessica joins Elise to discuss writing as a form of accompaniment and how the experience of mourning shaped her, both as a Christian …
 
Rusty Reno is author of several books and editor of First Things, an ecumenical journal of religion and public life. His conversation with Ryan covers his conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism, the scholars and books that have most influenced him, and why he thinks fear is an enemy to solidarity. They also discuss Rusty’s legendary climbing fa…
 
Luke Sheahan is an assistant professor of political science at Duquesne University and non-resident scholar at the program for research on religion and urban civil society at the University of Pennsylvania. He joins John to discuss his new book, Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism. Luke argues that there has been a funda…
 
Amy Alznauer is a polymath: she is a writer, arts collaborator, and an instructor of calculus and number theory at Northwestern University. Amy and Elise’s conversation touches on all of these things. Amy tells us about why she started writing picture-book biographies and what the genius of childhood can teach grown-up readers. She and Elise dive i…
 
Glenn Arbery is a novelist and president of Wyoming Catholic College. He joins Ryan to discuss Catholic literature, past and present. They cover Caroline Gordon, Jacques Maritain, Allen Tate, Flannery O’Connor, and the literary scene today. Together they explore what it means to be a Christian artist and what makes Christian art Christian. Racism a…
 
Natalie Carnes is an associate professor of theology in the religion department at Baylor University and an affiliate faculty member in women's and gender studies. She and Elise discuss Natalie’s latest book, Motherhood: A Confession. They talk about Natalie’s love of Augustine and Gregory of Nyssa, how to approach art made by terrible people, and …
 
Mark Reiff is a scholar, lawyer, and author of five books on economics and labor. He joins John to talk about his latest book, In the Name of Liberty: The Argument for Universal Unionization. Mark discusses the libertarian argument for unions, the structure of distributive justice, and how self-ownership involves an obligation to others. He and Joh…
 
Shannon Gayk is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Medieval Studies Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She joins Elise to talk about how literary forms reflect larger lived experiences. They discuss the importance of witness, the connection between experiencing art and being moved to action, and the relationshi…
 
Kirsten Hall is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, a graduate fellow at the Austin Institute, and the managing editor of the Genealogies of Modernity Blog. She joins Ryan to discuss eighteenth-century literature, drama, and thought. Their conversation ranges from the historical importance of Cato, the eighteenth century’s Ha…
 
Jesse Straight is farmer and founder of Whiffletree Farm. The goal of Jesse’s business is “to farm in a way that is good for all parties involved: the land, the animals, our families, our customers, and our community.” Jesse explains what terms like “grass-fed” and “cage-free” really mean and how the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the weaknesses in…
 
Anthony Bradley is a professor of religious studies and director of the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at the King’s College in New York City. He gives us a personalist analysis of the criminal justice system (touching on everything from architecture to food) and the Black Lives Matter movement. We discuss the relationship between Afro-p…
 
Terence Sweeney is editor-at-large of the Genealogies of Modernity Blog and is currently finishing his PhD in philosophy at Villanova. He joins us to talk about the role of the Christian genealogist and the place for wonder and curiosity in the modern university. We mix it up by playing a game of “would you rather” (Thomas Aquinas’s five ways or Pa…
 
Jonathan Anderson, associate professor of art at Biola University, is currently pursuing a PhD in theology and religious studies. He joins us to discuss contemporary art and its theological implications. The conversation ranges from Christological approaches in art to the best artists currently dealing with theological themes. Art patronage in the …
 
Katie and Brandon McGinley live with their four children in an intentional Catholic neighborhood community. Brandon is a Catholic writer, and Katie is a retired librarian and full-time homeschooler. They discuss how their community began and how they’ve grown since then. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to think creatively about community buil…
 
Allyson Creasman is an associate professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, where she specializes in the German reformation. Dr. Creasman paints a thorough picture of the pandemic in Luther’s time, examining the early modern quarantine legislation and the secularization of the healthcare system. She discusses whether Luther would have a Tw…
 
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