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Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin serves as the president of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty and is also a resident research fellow at the Tikvah Fund has a wide ranging conversation on Judaism and Markets.
How does religion in general speak to the market economy? Does Judaism’s covenantal self-understanding foster a unique perspective? Where do the perspectives of Christianity and Islam overlap with Judaism and how do they differ? What is the historical contribution of the Jewish community to economic dynamism? How does this relate to anti-Jewish attitudes and prejudice?
In The Rise of the New Puritans, Commentary Magazine associate editor Noah Rothman explains how, in pursuit of a better world, a relatively new and fervent strain of progressivism, in a “burst of moral enthusiasm” is ruining the very things which make life worth living by attempting to craft a society full of verbal trip wires and digital witch hunts. Football? Too violent. Fusion food? Appropriation. The nuclear family? Oppressive.
David George Moore, founder and president of Two Cities Ministries, discusses his recent book Stuck in the Present: How History Frees and Forms Christians. Dylan Pahman, Acton research fellow and executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality, joins Moore to explore his vision of how a deeper appreciation of history can ground Christians in an age in which one too often faces a landslide of information with insufficient tools to sift through the mess of our present world.
P. J. Hill, professor of economics emeritus at Wheaton College (Illinois) and a senior fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, delves into the topic of “Economic Inequality and Envy” based on a lecture he gave at Acton University 2022. Sarah Negri, research project coordinator at Acton, sits down with Hill to talk about the different kinds of economic inequality, the difference between inequality and poverty, and the economic and moral problems with envy being the modern standard mindset towards those who create mass wealth. They discuss the relationship between inequality and injustice with regard to human dignity, including what moral obligations might go hand in hand with being wealthy, as well as whether economic measures which have the goal of lessening inequality, such as resource transfers, are effective.
You’ve heard of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Each is a natural and recurring human weakness that impedes happiness. In addition to these vices, however, there are deadly economic “sins.” They, too, wreak havoc in both our personal lives and in society. They can seem intuitively compelling, yet lead to waste and lost prosperity. Dylan Pahman, Acton’s research fellow and executive editor of the Journal of Markets and Morality, sat down with James R. Otteson, author of “Seven Deadly Economic Sins,” to discuss his lecture on this very topic during Acton University 2022.
The Acton Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program is a leadership development initiative that brings together a cohort of students from across the nation and globe for a transformative experience. During the summer, Emerging Leaders gain professional experience, grow their network, and delve deeper into the ideas of a free and virtuous society.
In this episode, we sit down with three of our Emerging Leaders: Walker Haskins, Lauren McCoy, and David Mendoza. They discuss Acton’s Emerging Leaders Program, the landscape of the broader liberty movement, and how Acton fits into their future scholarly pursuits. Also discussed is Walter’s and David’s research on Wawrzyniec Goślicki, a 16th-century influential but now largely forgotten Polish bishop whose book, The Accomplished Senator, argued for the importance of legislative bodies in mediating between a monarch’s absolutist tendencies and noblemen’s attempts to acquire more power.
Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor University, discusses the lecture he gave at Acton University 2022 entitled, “Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith.” Sarah Negri, Acton’s research project coordinator, sits down with Beckwith to discuss how religious rites such as marriage have a special significance not typically recognized in civil law, and how religion is unfairly set up as in conflict with reason, when in fact rites and religious observances can be profoundly reasonable. In addition, they talk about the difference between conscience and religious freedom, and how using these two similar but distinct concepts as a basis for legal decisions may have different social ramifications.
Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, discusses his new book, “Check Your Financial Privilege,” and how cryptocurrency can aid in pulling people out of poverty. Dan Hugger, Acton’s librarian and research associate, sits down with Gladstein to discuss what’s happening, for example, in Nigeria, where human rights activists depend on Bitcoin for donations. In Cuba, those who saved in Bitcoin managed to stay afloat after a dual-currency system devalued the peso. In El Salvador, where remittance fees and exchange rates can eat away a simple money transfer to family members in need, Bitcoin offers hope with lower fees and faster transactions.
“The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” is one of the most popular Christian podcasts of the past year. It chronicles how Mars Hill Church in Seattle went from one of the most influential multisite evangelical churches in the U.S. to an abuse- and scandal-ridden nightmare, finally having to shut its doors for good in 2014 following the resignation of its charismatic founder, Mark Driscoll.
Eric Kohn, Acton’s director of marketing and communications, sits down with Mike Cosper, producer, writer, and host of the podcast, to discuss the lessons from the stories Cosper tells in “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill,” as well as the problems associated with celebrity pastors and church institutions.
Anthony Bradley, professor of religious studies at The King’s College, NYC, and Acton research fellow, sits down with Dan Churchwell, Acton’s director of program outreach, to discuss the importance of fatherhood as well as Dr. Bradley’s new research on the good that fraternities do in the way of moral formation of young men.
Award-winning author Jessica Hooten Wilson has written an exciting new book—“The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints”—on how we’re called to live beyond a merely mundane existence of settling for small goals. In fact, we’re called to live a life of holiness. Wilson instructs us on how hearing the call to holiness requires cultivating a new imagination—one rooted in the art and discipline of reading. Reading with eyes attuned to the saints who populate great works of literature enables us to see how God opens up ways of holy living.
Sarah Negri, Acton’s research project coordinator, sits down with Wilson to discuss how literature has the power to show us what a truly holy life looks like.
Betsy DeVos joins Eric Kohn, Acton’s director of marketing and communications, in the studio to discuss her new book, “Hostages No More.“
In her book, DeVos writes about her experiences working in the Trump administration and how the “woke” curriculum is negatively impacting our children’s learning. She also lays out a detailed approach to fixing America’s badly broken education system and securing a prosperous future for our kids.
In this episode, Dan Churchwell, Acton’s director of program outreach, sits down with Dr. Richard Turnbull, the director of the Center for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics, to discuss how banks and credit unions develop a culture of savings, independence, and poverty prevention. Do trends in the direction of large, national, even global banking institutions best serve these ideals? And what are the implications of the loss of diversity in institutional and local provisions for personal saving? What does all this tell us about the nature of civil society?
Daniel Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of philosophy at Aquinas College, sits down with Dan Hugger, Acton’s librarian and research associate, to explore the Aristotelian-Thomistic account of the human good, natural law, and living well. Why should we seek to know ourselves? How is the human good related to excellence and virtue? How do we reconcile this account of the good with the divergent moral views we see in the world?
In this episode, Sam Gregg sits down with award-winning political theorist Yoram Hazony to discuss Hazony’s new book, “Conservatism: A Rediscovery.”
Hazony argues that the idea that American conservatism is identical to “classical” liberalism, which has been widely held since the 1960s, is seriously mistaken. According to Hazony, the best hope for Western democracy is a return to the empiricist, religious, and nationalist traditions of America and Britain. These conservative traditions brought greatness to the English-speaking nations and became the model for national freedom for the entire world.
In this episode of Acton Line, Dylan Pahman, research fellow and executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality here at Acton, sits down with Jeff Fisher, professor of theology and director of spiritual formation, and Branson Parler, professor of theology and director of theological education, both of the Foundry, to discuss their entrepreneurial alternative to traditional Christian higher education for ministry leaders. Topics range from the specifics of how the Foundry works to broader questions of the economic and identity crises of colleges and universities across the country. What is the role of the Church in training the next generation of pastors and teachers? Is the Foundry’s model the new way forward or a further symptom of the breakdown and silo-ization of the university?
Kevin Schmiesing, director of research at the Freedom & Virtue Institute, takes you on a journey through American history to more than two dozen sites and events that symbolize and embody America’s rich Catholic past in his new book, “A Catholic Pilgrimage through American History: People and Places that Shaped the Church in the United States.”
In this episode, Rev. Robert A. Sirico, Acton’s president emeritus, and Dan Hugger, Acton’s librarian and research associate, dismiss the many misinterpretations of Jesus’ parables to reveal their timeless wisdom as explored in Rev. Sirico’s new book, “The Economics of the Parables.”