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...

Joy for the World: Restoring the Joy of God to Cultural Witness

Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”).  Continue Reading...

The Joyful Seriousness of Christmas

As Christians living in a secular age, there’s a temptation to use Christmas as a wedge to wage epic new battles to restore Christendom. But despite the flurry of hackneyed “War on Christmas” tropes, there is, alas, something rather amiss. Continue Reading...

Wasteful Extravagance: Sara Groves on the Economy of Wonder  

“God somehow demands of us so much more than this transactional nature. It is really about the gift that we’ve been given, and the only response we can give back is with extravagance, with gratuitous beauty.” –Makoto Fujimura (Episode 6, For the Life of the World) We live in a society that has grown increasingly transactional in its way of thinking. Continue Reading...

Can Capitalism Save the Arts?

Capitalism is routinely castigated as an enemy of the arts, with much of the finger-pointing bent toward monsters of profit and efficiency. Other critiques take aim at more systemic features, fearing that the type of industrialization that markets sometimes tend toward will inevitably detach artists from healthy social contexts, sucking dry any potential for flourishing as a result. Continue Reading...

Video: Hilton and Alderman on the Tragedy of Human Trafficking

Detail from Pamela Alderman’s “The Scarlet Cord” Those of you who are regular readers here at the Acton PowerBlog are very familiar with Elise Graveline Hilton’s extensive research and work on the subject of human trafficking, both here on the blog and also through her recently published monograph, A Vulnerable WorldContinue Reading...

Chalk Art For The Life of the World

In his review of the Acton Institute’s film series, For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles, Andy Crouch noted its artistic merits, observing how well it conveyed “deeply Christian themes in widely accessible ways.” “I can only hope that many of us will indeed watch and learn,” he writes, “and that we will then give ourselves away, as skillfully, promptly, and sincerely as these filmmakers have done, for the life of the world.” Now, in response to the series, other artists are joining in on that endeavor. Continue Reading...