Acton Institute Powerblog

New book explores significant relationship between religious and economic freedom

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On sale now at the Acton Book Store

The role of economic liberty in contributing to human flourishing and the common good remains deeply underappreciated, even by those who are dedicated to religious liberty.

Samuel Gregg

Gregg is a contributor of One and Indivisible: The Relationship Between Religious and Economic Freedom, on sale now in the Acton Book Shop. Compiled by Kevin Schmiesing, the book contains 13 essays from highly acclaimed authors, speakers, and religious leaders, including Michael Matheson Miller, Anielka Münkel Olson, and Michael Novak. The essays describe the major events and trends that inspired an ambitious three-year program of conferences organized by the Acton Institute designed to bring a wide variety of scholars together to discuss one important theme: What is the relationship between economic and religious freedom?

Gregg continues to explain “how a continually expanding welfare state naturally ends up putting pressure on religious freedom, as government becomes the “paymaster” for religious institutions.” Later, Jay Richards explores “the historical and philosophical roots of this developing conflict,” and how the United States has fallen from a respect for liberty as an intrinsic quality of human nature and towards “liberty as an expression of philosophical and moral relativism.”

Additionally, Archbishop Maroun Lahham brings a unique perspective to events in the Middle East, where Christians face “more emergent threats as Islamist groups persecute native Iraqis and Syrians explicitly because of their identity as followers of Christ.” While there is a liberal case for matters of business and state within Islam, “it is no accident that Muslim advocates of an authoritarian state see government as the arbiter of both religious and economic activity.” We see, yet again, how the various aspects of freedom tend to correlate positively.

Read from these authors and more in One and Indivisible: The Relationship Between Religious and Economic Freedom, now available on sale in the Acton Book Shop.

Liz Crandell

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