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Author: Dahm, Breuninger, and McNamara

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Interviews with faculty at Franciscan University of Steubenville about their recent publications.
16 Episodes
In this episode we talk to Deacon Stephen Frezza and Justin Greenly about their recent paper, "Identifying Core Engineering Virtues: Relating Competency and vVrtue to Professional Codes of Ethics". We talk about codes of ethics, the virtues most important for a good engineer, and how their work is being applied in Franciscan's new engineering program.
In this episode we interview Michael Healy about his recent book A Primer in the Philosophy of John Paul II. We discuss JPII's life, the role of his work in Dr. Healy's life, and the importance of his philosophy today.
In this episode we talk to Mike Sirilla about his article "Lectio Scripturae at the Heart of Aquinas's Theology and Preaching" from the book Thomas Aquinas: Biblical Theologian. We talk to Mike about Aquinas's role and work in a 13th century university, how this can help us read Scripture, and trends in biblical theology. 
In this episode, we talk to Emily Sobeck about her recent articles on paraeducators and inclusive education. After asking her what paraedcuators and inclusive education are, Emily explains her interest in the topic from her time teaching special education. We discuss the problems facing paraeducators relating to their training, supervision, time with students, and some ways to help.Emily's articles: Sobeck, E.E., Chopra, R., Uitto, D., Douglas, S., & Morano, S. (2020). Paraeducator supervision in pre-service teacher preparation programs: Results of a national survey. Psychology in the Schools. Yates, P., Chopra, R., Sobeck, E.E., Douglas, S., Schulze R., Morano, S. & Walker, V. (2020). Working with paraeducators: Tools and strategies for instructional planning, performance feedback, and evaluation. Intervention in School and Clinic, 56(1). Sobeck, E.E., Robertson, R., & Smith, J. (2020). The effects of didactic instruction and performance feedback on paraeducators’ use of positive behavior support strategies in inclusive settings. Journal of Special Education, 53(4), 245-255. Yates, R., Chopra, R., Douglas, S., Walker, V., Schulze, R., Sobeck, E.E., & Morano, S. (2019). Preparing Teachers for Effective Paraeducator Supervision. Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children Practice Brief, Volume 3. Sobeck, E.E., Robertson, R., (2019). Perspectives on current practice and barriers of paraeducator training for individuals who work with students with autism in inclusive settings. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals.
In this episode we talk to Brandon Dahm about his recent article, Correcting Acedia through Wonder and Gratitude. We talk about virtue formation and fight vice, the nature of emotions and acedia, and how practicing gratitude and wonder corrects acedia.  The discussion includes the thought of the desert fathers, Evagrius and Cassian, Aquinas, G.K. Chesterton, and Robert Roberts.
In this episode we interview professor John Walker about his work writing and acting as G.K. Chesterton (promo: We discuss the process of researching, the affects of playing Chesterton, and the role of theater and beauty in Catholic life, among other things.
In this episode we interview Daniel Kuebler about his research on the relation between diet and seizures in flies and how it applies to humans. (Radlicz, C., Chamber, A., Olis, E., and Kuebler, D (2019) The addition of a lipid-rich dietary supplement eliminates seizure-like activity and paralysis in the Drosophila Bang sensitive mutants. Epilepsy Research, 155: 106153. ) We discuss the paper, how they made the discovery, and doing research with students.
In this episode, we talk to Logan Gage about his recent article, "A Saint for Our Times: Newman on Faith, Fallibility, and Certitude" (Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 23 (2): 60-76 (2020)).  We talk to Gage about Newman's view of that we can have knowledge without certitude and how that relates to skepticism, faith, and Catholic views of the certainty of faith. We discuss how this works in ordinary life, its philosophical importance, and the life of faith. Gage then explains how he things different kinds of arguments and evidence relate to belief and faith.
In this episode we talk to Matt Breuninger about his recent paper "Treatment of alcohol use disorder: Integration of Alcoholics Anonymous and cognitive behavioral therapy" in Training and Education in Professional Psychology.  Matt explains why AA and CBT are so often not integrated, the history of AA, and what he hopes comes out of this paper.
Robert McNamara, ‘The Concept of Christian Philosophy in Edith Stein’, in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 94.2 (2020), pp. 323-46.In this session (which was our first recording!), Dr. Robert McNamara discusses his paper examining the concept of ‘Christian philosophy’ in the mature thought of Edith Stein (St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce), a twentieth century Carmelite martyr and noted philosopher of the phenomenological movement. Over the course of the conversation Dr. McNamara relates the journey of Stein’s life and philosophical engagement, up to and including her conversion to Catholic Christianity and subsequent encounter with the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. In her later thought, Stein presents a provocative proposal regarding Christian philosophy by arguing that the natural limitations of philosophy as a human science means that its investigations lie interiorly open to their completion and elevation through receiving supplementation from the supernatural contents of Revelation. As a result, Stein maintains that the Christian faith and theological truth not only secures the path of philosophy and guides the process of its investigations, but also provides subject matter for further philosophical inquiry that leads to fresh investigations into the meaning of being. Since this position stands in some contrast to the standard Thomistic presentation of Christian philosophy—a position with which McNamara basically agrees, and for which he argues in the paper—McNamara examines Stein’s conception by setting it in contrast to the standard Thomistic presentation (of Jacques Maritain and others), and thereby manifests something of the novel philosophical significance of Stein’s position while simultaneously assessing its philosophical validity.
Abigail Williams, Matthew Breuninger, ‘A Pilot Investigation of Attachment-focused Self-Hypnosis to Change Insecure God Attachment’, in International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 68.2 (2020), pp. 246-262.Dr. Matthew Breuninger discusses clinical hypnosis in light of his and Abigail Williams’ research examining the possibility of changing insecure God attachment through self-hypnosis. Dr. Breuninger defines hypnosis as ‘a state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion’, and understands it as a form of aware self-control that enables the client to change behavior through their own effort. Aware of the moral problematic associated with hypnosis, Dr. Breuninger differentiates hypnosis used in a clinical and therapeutic context from hypnosis employed as a New Age practice or for the sake of entertainment. The research was conducted through self-hypnosis with the aid of an agreed upon audio recording that guided participants into a state of heightened attention before communicating certain basic truths of the Catholic faith about the providential love of God. The research indicates that self-hypnosis may be an effective means of increasing secure God attachment, here understood as the affective bond of the individual to God, which is associated with overall well-being, reduced psychological distress, and greater ease in prayer. Dr. Breuninger performed his research in a way that accords with Catholic teaching, fully respectful of the rational freedom of the individual, toward the ends of healing, integration, and greater receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Breuninger recommends hypnosis be explored only in a clinical setting with a trusted Catholic therapist. For more information on the Catholic faith and the clinical use of hypnosis, see Pope Pius XII, ‘Text of Address by Pope Pius XII on the Science and Morality of Painless Childbirth’ (1956); Pope Pius XII, ‘Address by Pope Pius XII to the Ninth National Congress of the Italian Society of the Science of Anesthetics’ (1957); and John R. Cavanagh, ‘History of Psychotherapy: II. Hypnosis’, in The Linacre Quarterly, 39.4 (1972), pp. 232-45.
Sarah Klitenic Wear, ‘Language of Interaction in Cyril’s Trinitarian Theology and Proclus’s Theory of the Henads’, and ‘The Rational Soul of Jesus and the Word in Cyril’s Scholia on the Incarnation’, forthcomingIn this session, Dr. Sarah Klitenic Wear discusses two papers exploring St. Cyril of Alexandria’s metaphysics of the Incarnation and the Trinity, and the consequent contribution of St. Cyril and other Christian theologians to Neoplatonic philosophy in the 5th Century. In the first paper, Dr. Klitenic Wear explains St. Cyril’s adoption of Proclus’ theory of the henads – from the Greek for ‘one [hen]’ and meaning simple intelligible entities – and uses this Neoplatonic concept to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (One God in Three Persons) as a ‘union without confusion’. In the second paper, Dr. Klitenic Wear again attends to St. Cyril’s conception of oneness or unity, but now as it is applied to the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation (One Person in Two Natures), again as a ‘union without confusion’, and focuses on the distinctive way St. Cyril interprets the unity of soul and body in the Person of Jesus Christ. Following upon this discussion, and indicating other areas of classical scholarship situated in the cross-over of philosophy and Christian doctrine, Dr. Klitenic Wear unpacks something of the metaphysics undergirding early Christian hymns by reviewing the Akathist hymn, a beautiful Byzantine chant to the Blessed Virgin Mary dating from the 7th century, and which contains an abundance of philosophically rich Christian doctrine. 
Brandon Dahm, ‘The Virtue of Somnience’, in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly , 94 (4): 611-637. 2020.In this session, Dr. Brandon Dalm discusses the virtue of ‘somnience’, a newly coined virtue that has a relation to sleep as its specifying character. Building on the virtue tradition of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Dahm argues that we should identify a particular virtue related to sleep, both since sleep is an important sphere of human life taking up approx. one third of the average life, and since achieving a balanced sleep rhythm is of great significance for living a healthy and virtuous life in general. Employing the findings of contemporary sleep science, Dr. Dahm explains that sleeping well is crucial to bodily health and psychological well-being and has a profound impact on many important spheres of human life, such as those related to learning and education, sports and artistry, relationships and work. Consequently, he argues that there is a need for a virtue to orient the individual rightly with regard to sleep, and this virtue he calls somnience. However, though specified by sleep in this way, Dr. Dahm is quick to point out that somnience is not so much about sleep itself, since this is an unconscious activity of the human person, but rather is about matters surrounding sleep, all those things that influence whether or not one sleeps well or ill, and which is of particular importance today given the proliferation of electronic distractions. Dr. Dahm fits somnience into Aquinas’s account of temperance, arguing that it as a subjective part or species of temperance that can also be called ‘sleep-temperance’.
William Newton, ‘The Catholic Charismatic Renewal through the Eyes of St. Thomas Aquinas’, in The Downside Review, 137.2 (2019), pp. 31-46.Dr. William Newton discusses the Catholic Charismatic Renewal through the lens of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and his extensive treatment of the charisms in the Summa Theologiae. After relating his own broad experience of the Charismatic Renewal, in both its European and American forms, and the great evangelical benefits to be found in the exercise of the charisms, Dr. Newton explores potential avenues of rapprochement between the practice of the Charismatic Renewal and the theological investigations of St. Thomas. By in this way comparing these relatively recent developments in the life of the Church with St. Thomas’ late medieval presentation of the charisms, Dr. Newton attempts to assess whether the Charismatic Renewal is truly an innovation in Catholic practice, or rather, whether principle features of the Renewal can be found in the Catholic tradition exemplified by St. Thomas. Dr. Newton also examines the phenomenon of the Baptism in the Spirit, describing it as something of an ‘event horizon’ in the life of the individual, something that leads to renewed vigor in the practice of the faith, and argues that Baptism in the Spirit is best understood as a new sending of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual. Dr. Newton cogently maintains that the charisms themselves and the Charismatic Renewal are genuine features of the Catholic faith that are entirely ordered toward the fruitful spread of the Gospel.
John Crosby, The Personalism of John Paul II (Steubenville, OH: Hildebrand Press, 2019).Dr. John Crosby discusses his recently republished short and eminently readable book on the personalism of Pope St. John Paul II. Although originally written over twenty years ago, Dr. Crosby had the book reissued in light of the pressing needs of the present day, since we continue to see what St. John Paul II called the ‘pulverization of the person’, while also noticing a growing sensitivity to the individuality and dignity of the human person. In a wide-ranging discussion, Dr. Crosby explains his own personal interests in philosophically exploring the reality of the human person, doing so from a predominantly phenomenological perspective in his magisterial work, The Selfhood of the Human Person (Washington, DC: CUA Press, 1996), and his many years thinking through and teaching about the mystery of the human person. Interweaving the philosophical insights and theological faith of St. John Paul, Dr. Crosby presents the person of St. John Paul as an authentic witness to the incommensurable value of each and every human individual, and focuses our attention on the personal subjectivity and interiority of the human individual in the thought of St. John Paul, the awe inspiring truth that the human individual stands in being as a unique and unrepeatable center of personal life and conscious experience.
2020 Promo

2020 Promo


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