Commentary: The joy of spring

This week’s Acton Commentary is a meditation by the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), reflecting on the significance of spring for our natural and spiritual lives. “So that bread may come forth from the earth” takes its point of departure from the lines of Psalm 104: “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man: that he may bring forth bread out of the earth.” Pieces like this show another side of Kuyper than those that are often emphasized. Continue Reading...

Radio Free Acton: Victoria Coates on the art of democracy

In this edition of Radio Free Acton, we speak with cultural historian and author Victoria Coates on the capacity of democracy to inspire great works of art. Coates is the author of David’s Sling: The History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art, and spoke on the topic as part of the 2016 Acton Lecture Series. Continue Reading...

How did we get here?

In today’s Acton Commentary, I offer a brief reflection on the results of Election Day in the United States, “Politics, Character, and Competition.” I’ve heard a lot of wisdom and a lot of foolishness in the hours since the final results were announced. Continue Reading...

Why great men are almost always bad men

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is the most famous quote by the English Catholic historian Sir John Dalberg-Acton. But what exactly did he mean by it? That particular quote comes from a letter to Bishop Creighton in which Lord Acton explains that historians should condemn murder, theft, and violence whether committed by an individual, the state, or the Church. Continue Reading...

Video: Rev. Robert A. Sirico At Acton’s 26th Anniversary Dinner

On October 27, 2016, Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico addressed the audience at the Acton Institute’s 26th Anniversary Dinner in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In his remarks, he reflected on the state of American politics and culture, the societal crisis we find ourselves in, and proposed a way forward based on a vision of a free and virtuous society. Continue Reading...

Christianity and the Rise of Capital

“Money has not only the character of money,” says Samuel Gregg in this week’s Acton Commentary, “but it also has a productive character which we commonly call capital.” Like all medieval clergy, Olivi and Bernardine fiercely opposed usury. Continue Reading...