Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

David Bentley Hart and the ‘Pelagian Criticism of Wealth’

Following up on yesterday’s post “Samuel Gregg on David Bentley Hart and Murderous Markets,” Rev. Gregory Jensen, author of the Acton book The Cure for Consumerism, observes that “Hart’s assertion that ‘the New Testament treats such wealth not merely as a spiritual danger, and not merely as a blessing that should not be misused, but as an intrinsic evil’ is simply wrong.” Writing at his Palamas Institute site, Jensen, an Orthodox Christian priest, added that “it is a gross overstatement to assert the Scriptures treat wealth as such as morally evil.” More from Jensen: Whatever might be the contemporary roots of Hart’s moral reasoning on economics, his argument that wealth is evil is more in keeping with the thought of the early Christian heretic Pelagius than with, such as, Ambrose, Augustine, Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg on David Bentley Hart and Murderous Markets

Is the dominant economic system we have today, the market economy or capitalism, compatible with Christianity? Orthodox Christian theologian David Bentley Hart in a June 2016 First Things article titled,”Mammon Ascendant: Why global capitalism is inimical to Christianity,” is skeptical. Continue Reading...

5 Facts About the National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer, an annual day of observance celebrated by Americans of various faiths. Here are five facts you should know about the day when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” 1. Continue Reading...

Distributism Is the Future (That Few People Want)

Over the years, many of us here at Acton have been engaged in long-running (and mostly congenial) feud with distributists. Family squabbles can often be the most heated, and that is true of this rivalry between the Christian champions of distributism and the Christian champions of free markets here at  the Acton Institute. Continue Reading...

What Christians (Should) Mean When We Talk About Conscience

A new Pew Research survey finds that the majority of American Catholics  (73 percent) say they rely “a great deal” on their own conscience when facing difficult moral problems. Conscience was turned to more often than the three other sources — Catholic Church’s teachings (21 percent), the Bible (15 percent) or the pope (11 percent) — combined. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: How Bernie Sanders spins a papal encyclical

At The Stream, Acton Institute Research Director Samuel Gregg does a crime scene investigation of Bernie Sanders’ take on Pope John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus encyclical. You might never guess, by listening to the Democrat presidential candidate, that John Paul actually had some positive things to say about the market economy. Continue Reading...

Roundup: Samuel Gregg on Pope Francis and Overpopulation, Pope Leo XIII and Modernity, and Constitutional Conservatism

New articles from the indefatigable Samuel Gregg, research director of the Acton Insitute: Amoris Laetitia: Another Nail in the “Overpopulation” Coffin, The Catholic World Report Here the pope signals his awareness of the efforts of various organizations—the UN, the World Bank, the IMF, the EU, particular US administrations—to push anti-natalist policies upon developing nations. Continue Reading...