Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

On modern economics and the reading of old books

I was living with thousands of Marines on a base in Japan when I discovered a novel about a handful of Classics students living at a small, elite Vermont college. Donna Tartt’s The Secret History instantly became on of my favorite books, partially because at the time (1993) I was dreaming of leaving the Corps and attending St. Continue Reading...

Thoughts on Christians and race-identity issues

Here’s the deal, short and straight to the point, in light of the events in Charlottesville: Christians should not be within ten miles of this race-identity stuff. Something like “white nationalism” cannot be reconciled with the Gospel’s leap across racial and national barriers. Continue Reading...

How did business shape Jesus’s life?

“What life experiences would best prepare Jesus for his later public ministry,” ask Klaus Issler, “for his distinctive divine-human role as Messiah and Savior of the world?” We might think being born into a priest’s family would provide an excellent heritage for the Messiah, which was the life situation for Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptizer (Luke 1:5–17). Continue Reading...

How did money-lending stop being a sin?

“Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history,” notes Alex Mayyasi. “So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance?” Today, a banker listening to a theologian seems like a curiosity, a category error. Continue Reading...

Work too much? You might have the ‘Proletariat Touch’

Two weeks ago, a group of scholars from around the world gathered in Notre Dame, Indiana for Holy Cross College’s Labor and Leisure Conference. Among the many present was scholar Joseph Zahn, who presented his paper, “The Status of Leisure in the Human Person: Whether Leisure is a Virtue?” With levity in his voice, Zahn began: “Writing a paper on leisure without leisure is a difficult, if not utterly futile, task.” Set to begin his doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Dallas in the fall, Zahn already has presented three papers at various academic conferences. Continue Reading...

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...