In this episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore interviews author and award-winning essayist Mary Eberstadt, whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, First Things, National Review, and The Weekly Standard, among other acclaimed publications. Mrs. Eberstadt holds the Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. and is Senior Research Fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute. Their conversation focuses on the 2022 Commencement Address that Mrs. Eberstadt delivered to Magdalen graduates earlier that day. She told students that they live in a moment made essential by the recent happenings at the Supreme Court and charged them to be bold witnesses in the public square of truth as well as beauty. Listen as she shares these and other messages of wisdom and inspiration, and learn why she asked the graduates to remember 5 key words from this day (“I wanted what they had”).
In this episode Dr. Anthony Esolen discusses his book Sex and the Unreal City. When it comes to the way modern western culture approaches sex, what are the main idols that shape the moral conversation? Why is consent not enough? In what ways is it unjust to presume that men and women are equal in their physical embodiment? What should the Church do to help young people in the midst of this confusion? These are just some of the questions that Dr. Esolen addresses. Listen to find out why the Sexual Revolution has led to so much loneliness, and how we can begin to recover the building blocks of real cities and communities.
The liturgies of Holy Week are immensely beautiful, meaningful, and profound. Engaging in them, especially as a community, can help us gain fresh insights about the Christian faith. In this episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore reflects on 12 things that stood out to him during his own Holy Week journey. From joining the crowd shouting "Hosannah" on Palm Sunday, to hearing the rumbling thunder at Wednesday’s Tenebrae, to Thursday’s foot-washing and the guarding the tomb of repose, to the music, lights, and color of the Great Easter Vigil, the liturgies of this special week are laden with deep symbolism. Listen to learn how these events and more enable participation in Christ’s self-sacrifice and Resurrection life.
So much that we take for granted in the modern world is actually due to the Christian Church. From hospitals, to scientific discoveries, to universities, the Christian faith has made a significant contribution to the way of life we enjoy today. In this episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore interviews Dr. Anthony Esolen about a series of articles he wrote for Magnificat cataloguing How the Church Has Changed the World, especially concerning teaching and learning. They also discuss Dr. Esolen’s new private newsletter (or substack) called The Magdalenian.
In this episode, Dr. Eric Buck talks about how he asks hard questions of himself and his students to encourage them out of “mindless automaticity” in their thinking and their faith. How can we bring the commands of Christ into our ordinary routines without losing a sense of wonder and intensity in our discipleship? Dr. Buck explains how, if you are open at all to God’s wonderous creation, everything can be an object of fascination. Tune in to learn how this approach to life led him to become fascinated with the study of natural and human phenomenon, which he developed into an honors elective course at Magdalen College.
Register for Dr. Buck's upcoming Make Yourself at Home—Magdalen webinar here!
In this episode, President Messmore interviews Dr. Anthony Esolen about the literary treasures he is currently teaching at Magdalen. What makes this conversation special is Dr. Esolen's uncontainable enthusiasm for the beauty he sees in works such as the Gawain Poet's masterpiece, "Pearl". The inspiration Dr. Esolen gains and conveys from this poem–which he claims "sent him to school"–is contagious. The conversation turns to modernist art, focusing on the Coventry Cathedral and a sculpture by Rodin. You can get a sample in this episode of what students here at Magdalen receive in class each week. Click play to hear all of this and more!
In this interview, Dr. Ryan Messmore discusses his recent webinar on why John Paul II would love to be a student at Magdalen College. Learn how the would-be pope pursued seminary education underground when it became outlawed in Poland by the Nazis. Find out how JPII’s love of the theater and the outdoors shaped his views of culture and community. And hear how JPII would have made himself at home with the sense of “hygge”—a Danish term for coziness and comradery—that Magdalen’s size and climate evoke.
In this episode, Magdalen professor of literature, Dr. Mary Mumbach, stops by the studio. A stellar literary critic, Dr. Mumbach brings a wealth of experience and love to her subject and her students. Click play to learn why she encourages students to read books quickly, her opinions on literary theory, why big books are worth reading, and why over-analyzation can hinder understanding.
Dr. Anthony Esolen calls it "the most influential paragraph in the history of man". This explains, in part, why he wrote his most recent book on the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel. In this episode, Dr. Messmore interviews Dr. Esolen about In the Beginning was the Word. Click "play" to find out why Esolen believes that this section of Scripture is and should be read at the end of Mass, what role Hebrew poetry played in its creation, how John weaves together different motifs like a braid, and much more. Most of all, learn why Dr. Esolen encourages Christians to recover the lost territory of poetry and song.
To purchase a copy of this remarkable book, click here.
In this episode, President Messmore interviews Magdalen professor Dr. Almanzar about his new book "When the Earth was Flat"–a work Anthony Esolen calls "The best book about boyhood I have ever read." The pair discuss motivations for writing, why the provocative title, personhood and originality, homeschooling in small-town USA, growing up before the internet, technology as a distraction, and so much more. Click play to enter a world of nostalgia as we reflect on a time gone by.
To order a copy of Almanzar's book, click here and contact the publisher.