How gratitude empowers the free society

Despite being surrounded by unprecedented levels of opportunity and prosperity, we live in a profoundly anxious age, fearful of economic disruption even as we resist the pull to idolize status, wealth, and comfortability. Continue Reading...

Haiti’s solar entrepreneurs

Jean-Ronel Noel and Alex Georges began their company in a garage in Haiti, tinkering with solar panels and light bulbs, wondering how their experiments might translate into an actual product. “We have plenty of sunshine, so is there a way that we can harvest energy from the sun to resolve the energy problem?” they asked. Continue Reading...

Pope, Patriarch need theology of civilization

Today at Public Orthodoxy, I examine the recent claim of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that The human environment and the natural environment are deteriorating together, and this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people. Continue Reading...

Houston’s culture of rugged communitarianism

In the late 1920s, a primary theme of Herbert Hoover’s presidential campaign was the idea of “rugged individualism,” the practice or advocacy of individualism in social and economic relations emphasizing personal liberty and independence, self-reliance, resourcefulness, self-direction of the individual, and free competition in enterprise As Hoover said about the era in the U.S. 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...

Arvo Pärt on the economy of wonder

Our society has grown increasingly transactional in its ways of thinking, whether about family, business, education, or politics. Everything we spend, steward, or invest — our money, time, and relationships — must somehow secure an immediate personal return or reward, lest it be cast aside as “wasteful.” As an overarching philosophy of life, such an approach fails not due only due to its narrow individualism, but also to its cramped obsession with scarcity, standing in stark contrast with the lavish abundance and gratuitous generosity of the Gospel. Continue Reading...