We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added 92 lectures from Acton University 2016 to our digital download store! You can pick up the evening plenary lectures from Magatte Wade, Vernon Smith, William Allen, and Acton President Rev. Robert A. Sirico for free – and then select audio from a wide variety of speakers on a diverse range of topics from the daily sessions, including addresses by intellectuals and experts like Michael Novak , Kim Tan, and Prof. Peter Kreeft, among others.
The central theme of the Austrian tradition, which might better be called the liberal tradition, is that society runs itself. This is strongly linked to the idea of freedom in the liberal sense, meaning the opportunity for the individual to advance and to create wealth. Jeffrey Tucker, Director of Content at FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) argues that the Austrian school started by Carl Menger revived an old method of thinking in the liberal tradition of economic order. He recently gave a lecture on the topic, “The Austrian Tradition on Social and Economic Order” at Acton University.
In the nineteenth century, many intellectuals began to abandon this tradition. They became enamored with the ideas of science, and of “rational” planning, rather than the market and spontaneous order. Tucker began his analysis with Frédéric Bastiat, a nineteenth century French political economist, who saw the economic order as naturally harmonious and the source of wealth creation. (more…)
The industrial revolution did not begin in the eighteenth century, but was a gradual process of development comprised of the individual actions of thousands of innovators across time. The dramatic changes in the world have come about partially due to the technological growth, some of which developed out of this revolution of industry. It is not the result of a few “great, singular men”, but of many interconnected individual innovations. Jeffrey Tucker, Director of Content at FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) painted a vivid picture of the role of technology and ideas in shaping the world we live in today in an Acton University lecture titled “Technology and Markets: Medieval Times to Modernity.” He emphasized the importance of the medieval era for technological growth and formation, particularly the gradual emergence of the social norm of respecting the property rights of others.
Despite the importance of property rights, Tucker argues that ideas should not be thought of as property. (more…)
On June 16, His Eminence Metropolitan Tarasios of Buenos Aires spoke at Acton University at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His remarks touched on a wide range of subjects including the upcoming Orthodox Christian council in Crete, which begins on June 19, Catholic-Orthodox relations, and other topics. The American-born bishop serves in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
According to his official biography, Met. Tarasios was born Peter (Panayiotis) C. Anton in Gary, Indiana, in 1956 to Peter and Angela Anton. The family moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 1960, and young Peter grew up in the Church of St. Sophia in San Antonio. He studied at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, as well as Trinity University in San Antonio, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana (M.A. in Theology 1983), the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, and the Pontifical School of Paleography and Archives at the Vatican. (more…)
Longtime Acton University lecturer (and author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty”) Mustafa Akyol discusses the recent tragic deaths at Mecca in The New York Times. More to the point, Akyol talks about the fatalism which seems inherent in Islamic theology.
More than 100 people died when a crane collapsed in Mecca earlier this month. While Saudi Arabian authorities spoke of negligence on the part of the crane operators, the company itself seemed to be absolved of guilt:
The technicians that operated the crane, the Saudi Binladen Group, had an easy way out. One of them spoke to the press and simply said: ‘What happened was beyond the power of humans. It was an act of God.’
Pope Francis has started an important global discussion on the environment with the release of his encyclical Laudeto Si’, which the Acton Institute has been engaging in with vigor since it’s release, and has been ably covered as well here on the PowerBlog by the likes of Bruce Edward Walker and Joe Carter. But this isn’t the first time that Acton has waded into the debate over protecting the environment; Acton Founder Rev. Robert A. Sirico was debating Matthew Fox, proponent of deep ecology and a so-called “creation spirituality” back in 2000, and we’ve talked extensively about environmental stewardship as part of our Effective Stewardship curriculum and other publications as well.
Another recent example of Acton’s engagement with issues of environmental protection came as part of the 2014 Acton Lecture Series, as The Very Reverend Michael Butler and Andrew Morriss, Dean of the Texas A&M Law School, collaborated on a presentation at the Mark Murray Auditorium in the wake of the release of their monograph, titled Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism. As the debate over Laudeto Si’ continues, we’re pleased to present this valuable contribution from the Orthodox Christian perspective.
Back in June, Fr. Michael Butler responded to Laudeto Si’ at Acton University. After the jump, you can hear his thoughts upon the release of the encyclical. (more…)
After working in the DC area for nearly twenty years, Judi Niedercorn recently moved to the Northern Appalachian area of New York where she founded the Northern Appalachian Socio-Economic Collaborative (NASEC) and is in the midst of transferring her company, SysTactics. Her company, SysTactics provides technical and managerial consulting services to commercial and government clients. NASEC is a non-profit enabling the communities of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties in New York to improve the economy and fight poverty. NASEC is a collaboration of civic, commercial, and faith based organizations working together towards long lasting economic improvement in the region. As Judi began a new life endeavor with NASEC, she came upon the Acton Institute and thought Acton University would be a good resource for her work. She certainly found that to be true!
Judi was impressed that all the speakers were top notch in their particular field of instruction. The foundational courses did an excellent job of laying the ground work for a common understanding of “the very foundations of faith, life, and flourishing as well as our responses and responsibilities.” She found that Christopher Brook’s session on “Church, City, and Urban Renewal” was a “bonanza of inspiration.” (more…)