Acton Institute

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The mission of the Acton Institute is to promote a free, virtuous, and humane society. This direction recognizes the benefits of a limited government, but also the beneficent consequences of a free market. It embraces an objective framework of moral values, but also recognizes and appreciates the subjective nature of economic value. It views justice as a duty of all to give the one his due but, more importantly, as an individual obligation to serve the common good and not just his own needs and wants. In order to promote a more profound understanding of the coming together of faith and liberty, the Institute involves members of religious, business, and academic spheres in its various seminars, publications, and academic activities. It is our hope that by demonstrating the compatibility of faith, liberty, and free economic activity, religious leaders and entrepreneurs can contribute by helping to shape a society that is secure, free, and virtuous.

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Lord Acton's famous quote: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
The Star Trek crew recognizes the wisdom in Lord Acton's insight from 1887: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

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Catolicismo, ecología y medio ambiente: Reflexiones de un obispo
By Dominique Rey
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,320. Language: Spanish. Published: February 20, 2014 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Es el ambientalismo moderno compatible con el cristianismo? Mons. Dominique Rey ofrece respuestas a esta pregunta crítica en esta reflexión teológica sobre las relaciones entre Dios, el hombre y la naturaleza. Más que una crítica a la idolatría del ambientalismo secular de la naturaleza, el propósito principal del Rey es para mostrar los católicos y los demás cristianos como pueden...
Demons of Poverty
By Ted Boers
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 41,460. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2014 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
For ten years, Ted Boers, a well-intentioned, successful American entrepreneur, devoted himself to improving the conditions of the poor in Haiti. His journey would take him into many dark places including a crisis of faith that launched him on a mission to discover what he did not know and wished he had known before he began. This book is the fruit of that journey. It contains hard lessons...
Catholicism, Ecology, and the Environment: A Bishop’s Reflection
By Dominique Rey
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,970. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2013 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Is modern environmentalism compatible with Christianity? Bishop Dominique Rey provides answers to this critical question in this theological reflection on the relationships among God, man, and nature. More than a critique of secular environmentalism’s idolatry of nature, Rey’s primary purpose is to show Catholics and other Christians how they can view the environment in a way consistent...
Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism
By Fr. Michael Butler, Andrew Morriss
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,280. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2013 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Rooted in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church and its teaching on the relationship between God, humanity, and all creation, Fr. Michael Butler and Prof. Andrew Morriss offer a new contribution to Orthodox environmental theology. Too often policy recommendations from theologians and Church authorities have taken the form of pontifications, obscuring many important economic and public policy...
Catholic Education in the West: Roots, Reality, and Revival
By Philip Booth
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,520. Language: American English. Published: October 2, 2013 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Catholic education has played a major role in the development of Western nations, yet it is in many places in crisis. To bring about renewal, it is necessary to revisit the subject with an eye to fundamental questions. What is the purpose of education? What is distinctive about Catholic education? What is the right relationship between schools, parents, Church, and society?
Islamic Theology, Constitutionalism, and the State
By Lukas Wick
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 69,620. Language: English. Published: December 25, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
One of the most critical questions facing the world today is whether Islam is capable of accommodating itself to the constitutional forms of government that first arose in the West. Needless to say, opinion is sharply divided on this question.
Property
By Wolfgang Grassl
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,840. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Property is an institution fundamental to civilization. What is a Christian perspective on the subject? Is the Catholic Church a stalwart defender of private property or a proponent of common ownership? The answers to these questions are not always simple and straightforward. In these pages, Professor Wolfgang Grassl examines Scripture, the Church’s social tradition, philosophy, and economics...
Banca, justicia y bien común
By Samuel Gregg
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,700. Language: Spanish. Published: November 29, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
El arte de crear, administrar, prestar e invertir el dinero siempre ha estado plagado de peligros morales. Por desgracia, el hábito generalizado de la banca de visión en una luz menos de lo positivo ha contribuido a la incomprensión de una actividad humana que no sólo contribuye a la prosperidad humana, sino que también crea una esfera de endeaver...
Una Teoría de la Corrupción
By Osvaldo Schenone
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,870. Language: Spanish. Published: November 29, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
No hay mayor lacra que afecta al buen funcionamiento de cualquier sistema económico de la corrupción. Trágicamente, la corrupción es un fenómeno generalizado en los países en desarrollo. Se encuentra a menudo por parte de los funcionarios públicos que retrasan la emisión o elaboración de documentos públicos a menos que un incentivo monetario que se ofrece.
Ayuda internacional y desarrollo humano integral
By Philip Booth
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,800. Language: Spanish. Published: November 29, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Los cristianos en los países ricos tienen la obligación de ayudar a los que luchan por subsistir en las economías en desarrollo. La pregunta clave sigue siendo: ¿Cómo es este deber lo mejor de alta? Convencionalmente, los líderes de la iglesia a menudo han recomendado gobierno a gobierno transferencias de ayuda como una estrategia fundamental para promover el desarrollo en los países...
La Hipoteca Social de la Propiedad Intelectual
By David Carey
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,260. Language: Spanish. Published: November 27, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
La crisis del SIDA en África ha dado a la cuestión de una vez-esotérica de los derechos de propiedad intelectual importancia crítica e inmediata. El tema de las patentes farmacéuticas es más que una dimensión de un espacio amplio y complicado en la intersección de derecho, la economía y la ética.
Pensiones, Población y Prosperidad
By Oskari Juurikkala
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,490. Language: Spanish. Published: November 27, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
En los países desarrollados y en vías de desarrollo, seguridad en la vejez es una preocupación de suma importancia. Los países ricos se enfrentan enfermo sistemas públicos de pensiones, mientras que las naciones menos desarrolladas luchan por construir mecanismos viables para ayudar a los necesitados, ancianos.
El bien que hace la empresa
By Robert Kennedy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,440. Language: Spanish. Published: November 24, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Uno de los principales retos políticos de la era moderna ha sido la de gestionar la integración de las empresas en la vida de la comunidad civil. Del mismo modo, los pensadores sociales cristianos han luchado para integrar la actividad empresarial en su cuenta de la moral, la justicia y el bien común.
Crisis financiera, populismo y el camino a la prosperidad en América latina
By Carroll Ríos de Rodríguez
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,820. Language: Spanish. Published: November 24, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Economías de América Latina ha experimentado un crecimiento sustancial en los primeros años del siglo XXI, sino el principio crisis financiera de 2008 puso en duda la sostenibilidad de ese progreso. ¿Cuáles son las claves de la prosperidad duradera en Centroamérica y América del Sur?
A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey
By Jeff Sandefer, Robert Sirico
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 34,960. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Do you feel like something big is missing from your life? Do you feel trapped, bored, stuck in a meaningless routine? It may be you think you're too ordinary to ever do something special. Perhaps you're afraid that if you try, you'll fail. The startling truth is this: Just about anyone can do great things, can live a life that's remarkable, purposeful, excellent, and yes, even heroic.
A Moral Basis for Liberty
By Robert Sirico
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,910. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
An outline of the moral foundation of the free market economy, built upon respect for private property and voluntary activity.
Catholicism's Developing Social Teaching
By Robert Sirico
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,260. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
An examination of the development of Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II's ground-breaking encyclical letter of 1991.
Toward A Free And Virtuous Society
By Robert Sirico
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,520. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Occasional Paper No. 9. With an Introduction by Doug Bandow. A foundational description of the complementary relationship of freedom and morality. "Both freedom and virtue are under serious assault today...At this critical time, some supporters of either liberty or virtue are setting the two against each other, treating them as frequent antagonists, if not permanent opponents.
The Entrepreneurial Vocation
By Robert Sirico
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 10,730. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
In this essay, Robert A. Sirico draws upon theology, philosophy, and history to outline the contours of what he calls the entrepreneurial vocation, and its relationship with the deeper Christian message concerning the incomparable dignity of man and the sanctification of the world through human work.
Catholic Education and the Promise of School Choice
By Kevin Schmiesing
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,380. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
American education is in crisis. Many public schools, especially those serving students of challenging socio-economic backgrounds, fail to provide the training necessary to succeed in a modern, global economy. Meanwhile, Catholic schools, traditionally the bastions of excellent academic and moral formation, suffer from funding shortages and lack of mission clarity.
Trial by Fury: Restoring the Common Good in Tort Litigation
By Ronald Rychlak
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,500. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
American tort law has become the subject of public scrutiny in the last decades. The criticism cast against it is that its current state bears economic incentives for abuse. But the tort law system engenders an even greater evil: the perversion of the human person.
Liberating Labor: A Christian Economist's Case for Voluntary Unionism
By Charles Baird
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,530. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Do labor unions offer the best protection for the worker? Published by the Acton Institute, Liberating Labor questions the assumption that Christian social teaching unequivocally endorses all forms of trade unionism. If we consider the church's defense of freedom of association, for example, compulsory union membership is clearly at odds with Christian teaching.
Inhabiting the Land
By Andrew Yuengert
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,010. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
John Paul II asserts the right to migrate and this monograph presents a defense for this case. But the meaning of right employed in this defense is wholly distinct from that employed in the contemporary rights language of public policy debates. Rather, the meaning of right in Catholic natural law tradition is analogous to the right to property, and not to the right to life.
The Social Mortgage of Intellectual Property
By David Carey
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,310. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
The AIDs crisis in Africa has given the once-esoteric question of intellectual property rights critical and immediate significance. The issue of pharmaceutical patents is but one dimension of a broad and complicated area at the intersection of law, economics, and ethics.
Doing Justice to Justice: Competing Frameworks of Interpretation in Christian Social Ethics
By Stephen Grabill
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,050. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
This monograph attempts to unravel the distinct applications of social justice, economic justice, and distributive justice in modern Christian social thought.
Financial Crisis, Populism, and the Path to Prosperity in Latin America
By Carroll Ríos de Rodríguez
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,770. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Latin American economies enjoyed substantial growth in the early years of the twenty-first century, but the financial crisis beginning in 2008 called into question the sustainability of that progress. What are the keys to lasting prosperity in Central and South America?
Beyond Distributism
By Thomas E Woods, Jr.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,400. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Troubled by rampant injustice and inequality, many conscientious Christians advocate radical economic reforms. Distributism, a program that traces its popularity to Catholic writers Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, promotes the widespread ownership of property by tempering the market with guilds or similar associations.
Judaism, Markets, and Capitalism: Separating Myth from Reality
By Corinne Sauer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 8,280. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Corinne and Robert Sauer, co-founders of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, contend that "it is not at all true that Judaism is a set of principles that endorses income redistribution and other progressive social programs." Instead, they say, Judaism is a system of thought that more naturally aligns itself with the basic principles of economic liberalism.
Judaism, Law & The Free Market: An Analysis
By Joseph Lifshitz
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 51,980. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Judaism and Jewish religious, legal, and moral principles are often regarded as translating into support for broadly social democratic economic positions. In Judaism, Law, and the Free Market, Joseph Isaac Lifshitz suggests that this claim is difficult to sustain once the traditional sources of Jewish wisdom are subject to careful analysis.
Banking, Justice, and the Common Good
By Samuel Gregg
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,080. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
The art of creating, managing, loaning, and investing money has always been fraught with moral hazards. Unfortunately, the widespread habit of viewing banking in a less-than positive light has contributed to misunderstanding of a human activity that not only contributes to human prosperity, but also creates a sphere of endeaver in which people can genuinely pursue virtue.
Slitting the Sycamore
By Eduardo Echeverria
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,510. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
The effectiveness of Christian participation in political, economic, and social life depends upon understanding the proper relationship between the Church and the world, Christ and culture.
Globalization, Poverty, and International Development
By Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,970. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
One subject that never fails to spark debate is globalization. The phrase is used in every possible context, and yet its origins, nature and implications - especially for developing countries - are often misunderstood.
The Good That Business Does
By Robert Kennedy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,060. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
One of the major political challenges of the modern era has been to manage the integration of business into the life of the civil community. Similarly, Christian social thinkers have struggled to integrate business activity into their account of morality, justice, and the common good.
A Biblical Case for Natural Law
By David VanDrunen
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,360. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
This monograph is for Christians who are perplexed about the biblical standing of natural law. It offers an explicitly biblical defense for the existence and practical importance of natural law. If natural law is taught in Scripture, it should certainly be affirmed in Christian theology.
A Theory of Corruption
By Osvaldo Schenone
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,470. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
There is no greater scourge that affects the proper functioning of any economic system than corruption. Tragically, corruption is pervasive in developing nations. It is found often on the part of public officials who delay the issuance or processing of public documents unless a monetary inducement is offered.
Pensions, Population, and Prosperity
By Oskari Juurikkala
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,410. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
In both developed and developing nations, old age security is a concern of the utmost importance. Wealthy nations face ailing government pension systems, while less developed nations struggle to construct viable mechanisms for assisting the needy elderly.
Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution
By Victor Claar
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,590. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2012 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Fair Trade is an enormously popular idea in Christian and secular circles alike. Who, after all, could be against fairness? Victor V. Claar, however, raises significant economic and moral questions about both the logic and economic reasoning underlying the fair trade movement.
International Aid and Integral Human Development
By Philip Booth
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,620. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2011 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Christians in wealthy nations have an obligation to assist those who struggle to subsist in developing economies. The critical question remains: How is this duty best discharged? Conventionally, church leaders have often recommended government-to-government aid transfers as a major strategy to promote development in poor nations. Philip Booth, relying on the principles...
Faith, Freedom, and Modernity: Christianity and Liberalism in the Nineteenth Century
By Jan Klos
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 175,350. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2011 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Anyone who believes that democratic freedom and Christian morality are necessarily opposed to one another should find Professor Jan Klos’ book of great interest. Beginning with a careful study of 19th century liberalism, Klos shows how liberalism—understood as political freedom, individualism, and progress...
A Prescription for Health Care Reform
By Donald Condit
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,220. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2011 by Acton Institute. Category: Nonfiction
Rising costs and demographic realities render the current American health care system unsustainable. The situation presents a particular challenge for Christians who recognize that access to health care is a basic requirement of a just social order. Physician Donald Condit, drawing on an impressive array of empirical research, skillfully applies the principles of Catholic social teaching to...

Books

Theologian & Philosopher of Liberty: Essays of Evaluation & Criticism in Honor of Michael Novak
By Acton Institute
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 100,430. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2014. Category: Essay
Throughout his long and rich career as a theologian and philosopher, Michael Novak has written on a formidable number of subjects. Though most well- known for his contributions to the conversation between theology and economics, Novak has also written on topics such as the ethics of nuclear deterrence, the Second Vatican Council, the welfare state, liberation theology, concepts of subjectivity...
The Social Agenda: A Collection of Magisterial Texts
By Acton Institute
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 54,010. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2011. Category: Nonfiction
Students, teachers, and all those who seek a better knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church will find contained within this collection the central statements of the Roman Pontiffs from a range of texts, including papal encyclicals, apostolic letters, and Conciliar documents, on matters relating to politics, economics, and culture.
Religion & Liberty - Volume 20, Number 3/4
By Acton Institute
Price: Free! Words: 15,850. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2010. Category: Nonfiction
Religion & Liberty’s issue featuring an interview with ACT 3 Founder John H. Armstrong is now available. This double issue is a tribute to the 20th anniversary of Acton’s founding.
Religion & Liberty - Volume 20, Number 2
By Acton Institute
Price: Free! Words: 10,350. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2010. Category: Nonfiction
Religion & Liberty’s issue featuring an interview with Alexander Solzhenitsyn scholar Edward E. Ericson Jr. is now available online. Acton also published Solzhenitsyn & the Modern World by Ericson in 1994.

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