Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'John Dalberg-Acton 1st Baron Acton'

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...

What Would Lord Acton Think of Superman?

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is the most famous quote by the English Catholic historian Sir John Dalberg-Acton. It also appears to be the overriding theme of the teaser-trailer for the new movie Batman v. Continue Reading...

What Would Lord Acton Think of Superman?

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is the most famous quote by the English Catholic historian Sir John Dalberg-Acton. It also appears to be the overriding theme of the recent teaser-trailer for the movie Batman v. Continue Reading...

Interview: High School ‘Acton Club’

Members of the “Acton Club” of West Catholic High School Culture has either an overly optimistic view of youth culture, or an overly dour and depressing one. However, neither view is entirely true, nor are such disparate opinions very helpful.  Continue Reading...

Power Tends to Corrupt Theologians Too

John Howard YoderPhoto Credit: New York Times Today at Ethika Politika, in my essay “Prefacing Yoder: On Preaching and Practice,” I look at the recent decision of MennoMedia to preface all of Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder’s works with a disclaimer about his legacy of sexually abusive behavior: Whatever one thinks of MennoMedia’s new policy or Yoder’s theology in particular (being Orthodox and not a pacifist I am relatively uninterested myself), this nevertheless raises an interesting concern: To what extent ought the character of a theologian matter to their readers and students? Continue Reading...

Lord Acton on Catholic and Modern Views of Liberty

One of the more famous quotes from the eminently quotable Lord Acton is his dictum, “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.” Actually, this appears in his writings in a slightly different form, as is seen below. Continue Reading...

Digitization of Newman Archive Announced

The University of Manchester has announced plans to digitize the holdings of the Cardinal Newman archive. Among the roughly 200,000 items of handwritten and other unpublished materials are 171 files of letters to (and from) “particular individual correspondents.” One such correspondent of particular interest is Lord Acton. Continue Reading...