Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

How Puritans Became Capitalists

In his book, Heavenly Merchandize, Mark Valeri, professor of church history at Union Presbyterian Seminary, finds that the American economy as we know it emerged from a series of important shifts in the views of Puritan ministers: IDEAS: You’re saying that the market didn’t rise at the expense of religion, but was enabled by it? Continue Reading...

Thomas Merton on Marxism and Monasticism

A friend of mine recently shared this short clip of Thomas Merton’s last lecture. He has some interesting things to say about communism and monasticism, as well as what is clearly a sly promo for Coca-Cola at the end. Continue Reading...

Monks and Markets

Not Abba Pistamon Today at Ethika Politika, I examine some ancient economic wisdom from one of the desert fathers: Abba Pistamon. Far from the newest of Nintendo’s Pokemon monsters (despite the sound of his name), Abba Pistamon was one of the first Christian monks. Continue Reading...

Russian Evangelicals, Like Most Russians, ‘Thank God for Putin’

In Christianity Today, Mark R. Elliott offers an interesting and balanced report that goes a long way to explaining why “evangelicals in Russia have become ardent fans of President Vladimir Putin because of Russia’s efforts to maintain its influence in Ukraine, its takeover of Crimea in 2014, and the widespread Russian belief that the West is to blame for the present economic woes on the home front.” I’m not a fan of Putin, but neither am I suffering from Russophobia. Continue Reading...

Downton Abbey Manners

I’m not one of those folks who are glued to the tube, but some things on television grab and hold my attention. One is Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey, that just began its fifth season in the United States this past Sunday night. Continue Reading...