Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'rodney stark'

Christianity and the ‘Triumph of Modernity’

Samuel Gregg recently reviewed Rodney Stark’s new book, How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity. Gregg begins by pointing out that discussion of Medieval Europe “is invariably understood as a period of unmitigated darkness–so much so that words like “feudal” are used today, even by many well-informed Catholics, as synonyms for backwardness.” How the West Won seeks to analyze as well as dispel common misunderstandings and myths about how the West developed. Continue Reading...

Integrating Evangelism and Social Action Across Culture

In the recent issue of Reject Apathy, an off-shoot publication of RELEVANT Magazine, Tim Hoiland explores what he believes to be a tension between “serving justice” and “saving souls”: This [young] generation’s passion for justice is, without doubt, something to celebrate. Continue Reading...

Finding the Balance: Privacy and the Civil Society

This week’s commentary by Rev. Gregory Jensen. Sign up for Acton News & Commentary here. Finding the Balance: Privacy and the Civil Society by Rev. Gregory Jensen Privacy in our culture has come to serve not a deepening of community life but an ever deeper sense of social isolation.  Even otherwise laudable behavior is increasingly justified not by the goodness of what is done but by the modern sense of privacy.  Even among those who ought to know better, the Gospel is presented in terms that are almost wholly personal without any sense of its public character and demands.   Our sense of isolation from each other has become so profound that even to suggest that there is a human nature and that true happiness is only possible when we live in conformity to our nature, is seen a provocation and an assault on the radical autonomy of the individual. Continue Reading...

Birth of Freedom Shorts Series: What happened to China’s Industrial Revolution?

Acton Media’s seventh Birth of Freedom short features Rodney Stark, author of The Victory of Reason. In the video, he discusses the question “Why didn’t China have an industrial revolution before the west?” Although evidence points to the beginnings of an agricultural and industrial revolution in the 10th century, the lack of protection for private property has been a disincentive for innovation and hard work. Continue Reading...

Wind Power: Not So Novel After All

How different is this… In a recent WSJ story, “A Novel Way to Reduce Home Energy Bills,” Sara Schaefer Muñoz writes about the possibility of adding windmills to homes in order to cut down on the cost of utilities. Continue Reading...

Religious Freedom in China

Do economic, political, and religious freedom go together? Rodney Stark, writing in his recent book The Victory of Reason, says that “It seems doubtful than an effective modern economy can be created without adopting capitalism, as was demonstrated by the failure of the command economies of the Soviet Union and China.” He also writes, There are many reasons people embrace Christianity, including its capacity to sustain a deeply emotional and existentially satisfying faith. Continue Reading...