Justin Welby reimagines a poorer and less free Britain

“Christian leaders are often guilty of ‘souping up, the common good,” says Noah Gould in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, is no exception. In his latest book, Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope, Welby sets out to create a new social and political vision for the United Kingdom based on the common good.” The most precise definition Welby offers is that the common good “looks not to averages but to the totality of flourishing in a group.” He uses the story in Jeremiah 29 of how, when the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah urged them to “seek the welfare of the city.” Based on this idea, he outlines a list of policy and cultural changes, including greater income redistribution, decreasing Britain’s reliance on the banking industry, and broadening the definition of family to include cohabitation. Continue Reading...

The learned Dane and the harmony of natural law

Roman Catholics and Protestants alike have forgotten that Protestants had a natural law theory, says E. J. Hutchinson in this week’s Acton Commentary. To be sure, the work is of historical interest, as a testimony to Melanchthonian and, more broadly, Protestant thinking on natural law in the 16th and 17th centuries. Continue Reading...

Are Orthodox Christians naturally statists?

A recent study concluded that members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the second-largest church in Christendom, are likely to support left-wing economic policies. But that does not mean, says Krassen Stanchev in this week’s Acton Commentary, that Orthodox Christians are naturally statists: It is probably true that historically Orthodox countries (the study lumps in believers and non-believers alike) would fall into the group of those supporting greater government intervention in the economy. Continue Reading...

Are the culture wars unique to our times?

Culture wars are incredibly complex with overlapping conflicts that are often confused and conflated, says John D. Wilsey in this week’s Acton Commentary. For the past five decades, Americans have waged what has been commonly referred to as a “culture war.” A number of authors have examined the culture wars from philosophical, historical, and sociological standpoints, especially since the early 1990s—Charles Murray, Robert Putnam, James Davison Hunter, Philip Gorski, and Andrew Hartman to name a few. Continue Reading...

The economics and morality of infinity

In this week’s Acton Commentary I take on Thanos’ zero-sum economic worldview as manifest in Avengers: Infinity War. In the classic debate over positivity and normativity in economics, Thanos is definitely not a value-free figure. Continue Reading...

Chappaquiddick film goes deeper than politics

“It was nearly 50 years ago that an infamous incident finished off the hopes of returning another Kennedy brother to the White House,” says Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary.” A film about ‘Chappaquiddick,’ released this month, offers more than a historical retrospective. Continue Reading...

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