Martin Scorsese’s Silence: Christianity’s crucible in Japan

In the coming weeks, a film speculated by many to be Martin Scorsese’s most personal and poignant project to date will release throughout the United States. “While Silence depicts a Japan deeply resistant to Christian influence,” says Ken Marotte in this week’s Acton Commentary, “the story actually begins approximately 100 years earlier, when Christianity was not only tolerated, but encouraged.” The Christian faith reached Japan’s shores in 1549, when Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuit order and one of the church’s most prolific missionaries, made landfall. 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...

Dakota access pipeline’s real moral problem

“Environmental protests that spring up around development projects on tribal lands point to an underlying systematic injustice,” says Rev. Gregory Jensen in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Native Americans often lack property rights to their traditional lands and waters. Continue Reading...

How did we get here?

In today’s Acton Commentary, I offer a brief reflection on the results of Election Day in the United States, “Politics, Character, and Competition.” I’ve heard a lot of wisdom and a lot of foolishness in the hours since the final results were announced. Continue Reading...

Stewardship and faithful service

“If stewardship responsibility applies so strictly in regard to your body,” says Abraham Kuyper in this week’s Acton Commentary, “it applies even more decidedly to your mind, to every talent that God has given you in your mind and in your life.” “For all things are yours,” the apostle says [1 Cor 3:21]. Continue Reading...

A ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ for family and civil society

While the federal government’s “war on poverty” achieved some progress towards meeting basic material needs, says Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary, it has no answers to the deeper dilemma of dependency and hopelessness faced by many Americans. Continue Reading...

‘Riches do not bring freedom’

The contrast between the treatments by David Bentley Hart and Dylan Pahman of the question of the intrinsic evil of “great personal wealth” this week pretty well established, I think, that in itself wealth is among the things neither forbidden nor absolutely required. Continue Reading...

Utopias Denied: Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon at 75

Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) “In the world of literature,” says Bruce Edward Walker in this week’s Acton Commentary, “perhaps only Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did more to expose the lies and cruelty of 20th century totalitarianism.” What makes Darkness at Noon such an enduring artistic work is Koestler’s firsthand knowledge of his source material. Continue Reading...