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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VideosLord 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."
Catholic Education in the West: Roots, Reality, and Revival
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?
The Good That Business Does
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
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.
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...
A Prescription for Health Care Reform
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...
The Social Mortgage of Intellectual Property
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.
Islamic Theology, Constitutionalism, and the State
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.
Judaism, Markets, and Capitalism: Separating Myth from Reality
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.
A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey
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.
Theologian & Philosopher of Liberty: Essays of Evaluation & Criticism in Honor of Michael Novak
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
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
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
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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