Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Posts by Jordan J. Ballor

The ‘end’ of work

In the Q&A part of a session I led at last month’s Acton University on Abraham Kuyper and Leo XIII (based on this recent volume), I was asked about specific areas where the two figures have something concrete to contribute today. Continue Reading...

Fusionism and Western Civ

Pope Leo XIII, writing in the midst of social crisis at the end of the nineteenth century, wisely observed: “When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang.” For the American experiment in ordered liberty, this means in large part going back to the Anglo-American tradition represented by Adam Smith and Edmund Burke. Continue Reading...

‘What Good Markets Are Good For’

As of this month, I have joined the “What Good Markets Are Good For: Towards a Moral Justification of Free Markets” project as a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics. The project is a multi-year, multifaceted endeavor, focusing on the central claim that “societies with free-market economies flourish because and in so far as the key market actors (states, businesses and individuals) respect morality, and act virtuously.” The project is headed by Govert Buijs at the VU University Amsterdam, and includes partner institutions from across the Netherlands. Continue Reading...

Commentary: The joy of spring

This week’s Acton Commentary is a meditation by the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), reflecting on the significance of spring for our natural and spiritual lives. “So that bread may come forth from the earth” takes its point of departure from the lines of Psalm 104: “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man: that he may bring forth bread out of the earth.” Pieces like this show another side of Kuyper than those that are often emphasized. Continue Reading...

Defending the bourgeois virtues

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “The middle class in an age of inequality,” I wonder who will defend the bourgeois virtues, if anyone will “speak out in praise of mediocrity, stability, and predictability.” Deirdre McCloskey has spent a great deal of time exploring and extolling the bourgeois virtues. Continue Reading...

Throwing Reconstructionist shade

Now that conservative Christians are something of a favored group by the executive branch of the US government again after a two-term hiatus, it’s time for many to dust off those old memes regarding the theocratic tendencies of the Christian Right. Continue Reading...

Leo XIII and Kuyper on the social question

This year marks the 125th anniversary of two key documents in the development of modern Christian social thought: the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII and the speech “The Social Question and the Christian Religion” by Abraham Kuyper. Continue Reading...

Kyriarchy and Kuyper

Courtesy Adrian Vermeule at Mirror of Justice, I ran across a word new to me: Kyriarchy. Given the context and my admittedly limited Greek-language skills, I was able to work out the gist of the idea. Continue Reading...

Who did Democrats forget?

In this week’s Acton Commentary I weigh in with some reflections on the US presidential results: “Naming, Blaming, and Lessons Learned from the 2016 Election.” I focus on much of the reaction on the Democratic side, which has understandably had some soul-searching to do. Continue Reading...