Nicholas Kahm, Humanities Scholar-in-Residence, wants to impart love of the Great Books

By: Buff Lindau

Nicholas KahmGreat Books Scholar Nicholas Johan Kahm, doctoral candidate in Medieval and Byzantine Studies at The Catholic University of America, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Sweden, has been named the Fairbanks Visiting Humanities Scholar-in-Residence at Saint Michael's College. His dissertation, to be defended this semester, is titled Thomas Aquinas on Sense Appetite as Participating in Reason.

Saint Michael's is the perfect fit... As a liberal arts college, it affords students a wonderful opportunity to delve into the Great Books. 

About coming to Vermont, Professor Kahm said, "Saint Michael's is the perfect fit for my interests - I love the great books and I love philosophy."  Students have the chance at a liberal arts college to go deep into the great books, he said. He will teach a humanities course this fall with focus on Plato, Virgil, Augustine, and Dante. 

"These books are full of treasures, extraordinary things, and this is one of the few times in students' lives to actually read these books,” he said. "I hope afterwards they will still have a thirst, a desire to explore these great books and ideas."

Professor Kahm earned a BA in history and political science from The Colorado College in 2001. He earned an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, MD., with study of the Great Books of theology, philosophy, history, politics, math, and science in 2005, and an MA in Medieval and Byzantine Studies from The Catholic University of America, in 2010. 


Professor Kahm's essay, "Divine Providence in Aquinas's Commentaries on Aristotle's Physics and Metaphysics and Its Relevance to the Question of Evolution and Creation," is forthcoming in the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly (Fall 2013). He published a review of Diana Fritz Cates' book, Aquinas on the Emotions, in Theological Studies in 2011. And he has a work in progress titled "Aquinas on the Debitum Naturae or Why God Would Not Be Obliged To Fulfill a Natural Desire For the Supernatural." He has made presentations at conferences at Western Michigan University, Villanova, Catholic University, and this fall at St. Thomas University in Houston.  

Professor Kahm's teaching experience includes teaching modern philosophy at Catholic University, and teaching 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year Latin at Granite Classical School in Columbia, MD, 2005-2007. 

Former bike racer

Professor Kahm used to be a bike racer, and started a bike team at Colorado College. In addition to biking, he looks forward to hiking and skiing in Vermont. He and his wife Denise Kahm reside in Winooski.

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