Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

Economic freedom eases poverty

“The poor will always be with us, but such a sobering reality does not free us from an obligation to work to alleviate the ravages of poverty,” says Trey Dimsdale. “On the contrary, Jesus’ statement only serves to remind us that every generation will face the question of how best to fulfill our holy obligations to them.” It is clear that many in the present generation have taken notice of the plight of the poor and are moved by genuine compassion to advocate for the poor, provide for their needs and seek to lessen the suffering caused by their circumstances. Continue Reading...

Charles Murray: ‘We need a cultural Great Awakening’

In response to increasing economic disruption and drastic social shifts in American life, Sen. Mike Lee recently launched the Social Capital Project, a multi-year research project dedicated to investigating “the evolving nature, quality, and importance of our associational life.” As I recently noted, the project’s first report highlights the connections between “associational life” and the nation’s economic success, stopping short of specific policy solutions. Continue Reading...

If King Solomon gave a commencement address

The most famous commencement address was never delivered at a graduation. In June 1997 Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, published what seemed like a perennial cliché—the commencement address she would have given if asked—centered around one critical piece of advice: wear sunscreen. Continue Reading...

Pope Francis’s attack on ‘libertarian individualism’ not about libertarians

The following essay appeared Friday, May 5, 2017, at Crux. In a recent message by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Social Science he outlines some moral concerns about a phenomenon he sees as invading (his term) “high levels of culture and education in both universities and in schools,” namely “libertarian individualism.” On the first day of my philosophy classes, the professor admonished us that if we want to have an intelligent discussion or debate, we must begin by defining our terms. Continue Reading...

Acton books distributed to schools by Theological Book Network

  The Acton Institute recently donated a number of titles on faith, work, and economics to the Theological Book Network which will distribute them to its partner institutions in what it calls the ‘Majority World’ (‘Majority World’ is a term coined to replace earlier sometimes anachronistic or misleading terms like ‘Third World’ or ‘Developing World’). Continue Reading...

Hades is a bad economist

Late 16th century icon of Jesus’s decent to Hades and resurrection by Markos Bathas (1498-1578). Public domain.   This Sunday Christians all over the world (East and West together this year!) celebrated Easter or Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the holiest day of the liturgical year, the beginning of a festive season that lasts for the next forty days. Continue Reading...

John Locke on Scripture and Public Morality

Public Domain Last week Dr. Jonathan S. Marko, Assistant Professor of Philosophical & Systematic Theology at Cornerstone University, spoke before some Acton Staff and local scholars on John Locke and the role of Scripture in public morality. Continue Reading...

Pope Francis and populism: How Christian leaders should respond to populism

In a recent article for the Federalist, Samuel Gregg discusses Pope Francis’s recent comments on populism. Pope Francis explicitly denounces populism saying: “Populism is evil and ends badly, as the past century shows.” However, Gregg points out that many populist sentiments could be attributed to this Pope: Nor are some of Francis’s principal supporters averse to invoking populist language when defending his program for the Catholic Church. Continue Reading...