In this episode, Dan Churchwell, director of program outreach here at Acton, sits down with James Whitford, executive director of Watered Gardens Ministries, to discuss the challenges of poverty we face here in our communities. Whitford supports the economic principle of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is a social practice where neighbors help neighbors so the state doesn’t have to intervene. This discourages reliance on the welfare state and avoids government bureaucracy.

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In this episode, Dan Hugger sits down with Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, to discuss his new book, “The Essential Natural Law.” They explore the fundamental principles of natural law and their place in Western thought and tradition.

How does natural law deepen our understanding of economics, justice, human rights, private property, and the rule of law? Is our path to increased human flourishing contingent on the principles of natural law being applied?

In this episode, Eric Kohn, Acton’s director of communications, sits down with Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, to discuss the “Overton Window” and the influence it continues to play in politics. How can we use it to understand changing ideas in our culture and the marketplace?

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In this episode, Dan Hugger sits with Daniel Silliman, journalist and news editor for Christianity Today, to discuss his new book, “Reading Evangelicals: How Christian Fiction Shaped a Culture and a Faith.” Silliman argues that the formation of evangelical identity does not stem from institutions or political stances but from Christian fiction and Christian publishing in general. In light of this, he explores the questions, what is evangelicalism, and what is evangelical subculture?

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Sarah Negri, research project coordinator at the Acton Institute, sits down with  David Michael Phelps, dean and director of program development at Harmel Academy of the Trades, to discuss the dignity of human work and how it is tied to our freedom to create value in the world and its connection to virtue. Why is formation in virtue important for skilled laborers? Who was Léon Harmel, and what was his impact on Catholic social teaching?

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Since its announcement in November, media buzz has surrounded the University of Austin in Texas (UATX), newly founded to push back against a growing illiberal tide of “wokeness” and “cancel culture” in higher education. According to its website, UATX is “dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth” and seeks to promote freedom of inquiry and ideological independence.


In a conversation with Acton’s librarian and research associate Dan Hugger, the Honorable Mark T. Boonstra, author of “In Their Own Words,” presents powerful insights into the minds of our Founding Fathers on the subject of religion.

It’s clear now more than ever that our country is no longer the one inhabited by our Founding Fathers. Boonstra claims that we have essentially lost our relationship to God. According to our country’s sacred documents, we were established as one nation under God, our rights were given by God, we appealed to God for protection, and freedom to worship God was a primary concern. Things are a bit different now.

In a conversation with Dan Churchwell, Acton’s director of program outreach, Alan Noble, author of “You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World,” presents powerful insights into the anxiety and unease many feel today. He describes how a single line from the Heidelberg Catechism reframes our identity and helps us better understand ourselves, our families, our society, and our God.

Use code aipod22 to get 30% off the book

As we continue the conversation from our last episode, Dan Hugger and Dylan Pahman move the discussion forward on the Acton Institute’s vision for a free and virtuous society. We examine the Institute’s 10 core principles, which serve as the bedrock of who we are and what we do—namely, we seek to integrate religious truths (virtue) with free market principles (sound economics).

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As we enter into this new year, we reflect on the Acton Institute’s vision for a free and virtuous society. In this episode of Acton Line, Acton’s librarian and research associate, Dan Hugger, sits with Dylan Pahman, research fellow and executive editor of Acton’s Journal of Markets and Morality, to discuss the Institute’s mission and core principles. This is part one of a two-part series.

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In November of 2021, Fr. Robert A. Sirico passed the torch of the presidency of the Acton Institute to Acton co-founder Kris Mauren. In this episode, Eric Kohn sits down with Mauren to discuss Acton’s vision for a free and virtuous society in 2022 and beyond.


If we face America’s racial history squarely, must we conclude that the American project is a failure? Conversely, if we think the American project is a worthy endeavor, do we have to lie or equivocate about its past?

In this episode, Dan Churchwell, Acton’s director of program outreach, sits with Rachel Ferguson, economic philosopher at Concordia University Chicago, to discuss her new book, Black Liberation Through the Marketplace.

Eric Kohn sits down with Neil Chilson, research fellow for technology and innovation at Stand Together, to discuss his new book, Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World. Instead of trying to control people, systems, and protocols, Chilson explains how leaders must pursue the art of influence to lead and win.


Eric Kohn sits down with Yuval Levin, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-in-chief of National Affairs, to discuss his new article featured in The Dispatch, “The Changing Face of Social Breakdown.”

Levin notices a strange cultural trend. Although things may look great from a mere statistical perspective, something more ominous is going on in the background.

Pope John Paul II was an artist, an author, an actor, a philosopher, and a theologian. But most important, he was a lover of freedom and liberty. In this episode, Reason magazine’s managing editor, Stephanie Slade, sits down with Eric Kohn to discuss her new article on the pope who helped bring down communism.

The Pope Who Helped Bring Down Communism

In this episode, Eric Kohn, Acton’s director of communications, sits down with Dallas Jenkins, director of The Chosen, an online multi season TV series depicting the life of Jesus. Later in this episode, Kohn interviews Jonathan Roumie, the actor who portrays Jesus.

The Chosen is the largest crowdfunded media project of all time. According to The Chosen website: “Season 2 was fully funded in November 2020. This time 125,346 people contributed a total of $10,000,000. 86% of people who funded Season 1 also funded Season 2, with an average contribution of $299.99.” Season 3 is over 90% crowdfunded. This has been achieved completely outside the Hollywood system, with no plans of ever being sold to a major studio.

In this episode, Eric Kohn, Acton’s director of communications, sits down with David L. Bahnsen to discuss his new book, There’s No Free Lunch. In his book, Bahnsen explores how the free market has enabled hundreds of millions of people to rise from the depths of poverty and achieve a higher quality of life. In fact, there is no better economic system for human flourishing. However, a contagion has begun infecting public opinion with regard to capitalism in general and free markets specifically. Call it socialism, progressivism, or leftism, more and more people each day are turning away from the time-tested free market that has been absolutely essential to the prosperity of nations around the world. The question is, Why?


Dylan Pahman, executive editor and research fellow here at the Acton Institute, sits down with Kevin Schmiesing, director of research at the Freedom & Virtue Institute and coauthor and editor of the newly released Race and Justice in America. They discuss cultural tensions stemming from race and justice issues, the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements, and how to move forward in a peaceful, unified manner.

Race and Justice in America tackles the most enduring and provocative issues with a rare combination of intellectual sophistication and bracing realism. Featuring the writings of John Sibley Butler, Ismael Hernandez, and Kevin Schmiesing, this collection is an original and necessary contribution to our national discourse.

Digital technology has undoubtedly brought many benefits, but it has also come with growing threats to our privacy, our families and businesses, our mental health, and our freedom. Call it digital contagion. From cancel culture to fake news, from data collection and surveillance to outright social manipulation, we are bombarded by content that insidiously influences our behavior and threatens our security and even our livelihood.


Increasingly, people are turning to intermittent fasting to bolster their health. But we aren’t the first people to abstain from eating for a purpose. This routine was a common part of our spiritual ancestors’ lives for 1,500 years.

In his new book, Eat, Fast, Feast: Heal Your Body While Feeding your Soul―A Christian Guide to Fasting, Jay Richards argues that Christians should recover the fasting lifestyle, not only to improve our bodies, but to bolster our spiritual health as well. He draws upon forgotten insights from the Christian tradition on fasting and feasting and combines them with the growing body of modern scientific literature on ketogenic diets and fasting for improved physical and mental health, arguing that re-thinking our modern diet with an eye toward these ancient insights and new discoveries will lead us to a far more healthy and wholesome lifestyle.