Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

How Christianity created the free society

While many Christians have undermined human liberty, says Samuel Gregg, the Director of Research for Acton, a new book of essays shows just how much of our contemporary freedom we owe to the Christian church, Christian thinkers, and Christian practice rather than liberals and liberalism. Continue Reading...

We hate politics and the media because they lower our status

“I have a simple hypothesis,” writes economist Tyler Cowen. “No matter what the media tells you their job is, the feature of media that actually draws viewer interest is how media stories either raise or lower particular individuals in status.” Cowen believes this explains why people “get so teed off” at the media: The status ranking of individuals implied by a particular media source is never the same as yours, and often not even close. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg on the Regensburg Address, Ratzinger, and reason

In a new article for Public Discourse, Samuel Gregg, the Director of Research at Acton, talks about the “Regensburg Address” and what it means 10 years later.  Benedict XVI’s speech at the University of Regensburg on September 12, 2006 “managed to identify the inner pathology that is corroding much of the world, how this malignancy emerged, and what can be done to address it.” According to Gregg, this speech “showed how a collapse of faith in full-bodied conceptions of reason explains so much of our world’s evident disarray.” But the Roman Pontiff didn’t just pull this idea out of nowhere; this is a concept that has been long featured in Joseph Ratzinger’s writings.    Continue Reading...

‘The historical heritage of human labour’

Many view Labor Day as a celebration of all forms of work. The origins of the holiday come from the labor union movement, which for some is not so laudable. This leads some free-market advocates to refer instead to “Capital Day.” One might be tempted to respond as parents often do when kids ask why there is a separate Father’s or Mother’s Day but no “Kid’s Day.” The answer: Every day is Kid’s Day. Continue Reading...

3 Things you should know about stewardship

Sold into slavery, Joseph is put in charge of Potiphar’s household. Potiphar “entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph” (Genesis 39:4-5 [NIV]).You may not recognize it, but this is one of the first mentions of both stewardship and economy in Scripture. Continue Reading...

Does the Catholic Church oppose the free market?

Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated, as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops notes, through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. These documents developed a number of themes related to economic and social policy, such as the option for the poor and vulnerable and the dignity of work and the rights of workers. Continue Reading...