Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

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...

How God makes a smartphone

“Everybody has a cell phone,” Steve Jobs told John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar, “but I don’t know one person who likes their cell phone.” The frustrated CEO of Apple decided to do something about the problem, which lead to one of the greatest products of the modern age. Continue Reading...

The solution to healthcare is solidarity, not socialism

“The answer to the healthcare conundrum is not be found in Congress or in the White House, or in any draconian centre of usurped power,” says Joseph Pearce, “it is to be found on our own doorstep, in our own homes and in the homes of our neighbors.” Put simply, the principle of subsidiarity rests on the assumption that the rights of small communities—e.g., families, neighbourhoods, private associations, small businesses —should not be violated by the intervention of larger communities—e.g., the state or centralized bureaucracies. Continue Reading...