251 episodes

Dedicated to the promotion of a free and virtuous society, Acton Line brings together writers, economists, religious leaders, and more to bridge the gap between good intentions and sound economics. 
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    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings

Dedicated to the promotion of a free and virtuous society, Acton Line brings together writers, economists, religious leaders, and more to bridge the gap between good intentions and sound economics. 
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    P.J. Hill on religious origins of the rule of law

    P.J. Hill on religious origins of the rule of law

    In his article in the June 2020 issue of the Journal of Institutional Economics, Dr. P.J. Hill, who served as the George F. Bennett Professor of Economics at Wheaton College until his retirement in 2011, begins by saying, “in any discussion of the beginning of modern economic growth, the concept of the rule of law plays a crucial role," and that, "the lack of such an order is the fundamental cause of the failure of nations."
    But where did the foundations of the rule of law come from?  
    Hill argues that the current theories about the origin of the rule of law, while useful, are also incomplete. According to Hill, the Jewish and Christian concept of all human beings being created in God’s image is an important, but often overlooked, contributor to the rule of law in Western civilization.
    Today, Acton’s Dan Churchwell is joined by Dr. P.J. Hill to discuss his research article, “The religious origins of the rule of law,” the way beliefs affect institutions in general, and how the beliefs of the Christian and Jewish faith traditions in particular were crucial to the establishment of the rule of law. 
    Dr. P.J. Hill at Wheaton College
    The religious origins of the rule of law - P.J. Hill
    P.J. Hill on the social power of markets - Joseph Sunde

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    • 40 min
    Rev. Robert Sirico & Dr. Samuel Gregg on analyzing Fratelli Tutti

    Rev. Robert Sirico & Dr. Samuel Gregg on analyzing Fratelli Tutti

    On October 3rd, 2020, Pope Francis released the third encyclical letter of his pontificate: Fratelli Tutti.
    Literally translated as “Brothers all,” Fratelli Tutti is a call from Pope Francis for more human fraternity and solidarity. In it, Francis addresses a number of topics, including racism, immigration, capital punishment, war, politics and economics.
    In addressing economic issues, Francis warns against “financial speculation,” cautions that “not everything can be resolved by market freedom,” and denounces the “dogma of neoliberal faith.”
    It is with these economic issues that, in his article reviewing Fratelli Tutti for Catholic World Report, Acton’s Dr. Samuel Gregg sees “economic caricatures roam[ing] throughout Francis’s documents.”
    In this episode, Acton Institute president and co-founder Rev. Robert Sirico and Acton’s director of research Dr. Samuel Gregg discuss Fratelli Tutti in general, and in particular the economic concerns raised therein.
    Fratelli Tutti - Pope Francis
    Fratelli Tutti is a familiar mixture of dubious claims, strawmen, genuine insights - Samuel Gregg
    Rev. Robert Sirico responds to Laudato Si [video] - Rev. Robert Sirico
    Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy - Rev. Robert Sirico
    Reason, Faith and the Struggle for Western Civilization - Samuel Gregg

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    • 30 min
    Nate Hochman on conservative environmentalism

    Nate Hochman on conservative environmentalism

    In his article in the September 21st edition of National Review, “Toward a conservative environmentalism,” Nate Hochman says, “conservatism and conservation aren’t usually thought of as congruent; in fact, for the better part of a half century, many Americans have seen the two as antithetical.”
    Indeed, environmentalism generally, aspects of it like concern over global warming or climate change, and the various proposed methods of addressing those problems, like the Green New Deal, have been associated with or come from the political left.
    But, according to Hochman, environmentalism need not be a partisan issue or a cause owned by only one ideology. 
    What does a conservative environmentalism look like? How can environmental concerns be better addressed through solutions guided by market-based principles instead of government-led efforts?  And how would a conservative environmentalism that “places the dignity of the human person at the center of its moral understanding” better serve us all?
    Nate Hochman joins us to discuss. 
    Nate Hochman at Young Voices
    Toward a Conservative Environmentalism - Nate Hochman
    Conscientious environmental stewardship - Rev. Robert Sirico
    15 Biblical foundations of environmental stewardship - Joe Carter
    Free market environmentalism: Conserving and collaborating with nature - Joseph Sunde

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    • 34 min
    Ilya Shapiro on Supreme Disorder and SCOTUS politics

    Ilya Shapiro on Supreme Disorder and SCOTUS politics

    The untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February of 2016 amplified questions about the Supreme Court in the 2016 election to new highs. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s high wire act in denying a hearing and vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill that seat, Judge Merrick Garland, ultimately paid off for him: President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, who was then confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.
    A year later, the political world was rocked again by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the bench. Following one of the most contentions confirmation hearings in modern American political history, Kavanaugh was also confirmed.
    Now, the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has created another election year vacancy on the nation’s highest court. President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat. The political temperature has again risen.
    In his new book, “Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court,” Cato’s Ilya Shapiro examines the history of the judicial confirmation hearings, how politics has invaded the Supreme Court itself, and how appointments to the Court have become one of the most explosive features of our system of government.
    In this episode, Ilya Shapiro discusses his new book, how our politics of the judiciary got this way, how that politics affecting us as a nation, and what, if anything, can be done about it.
    Ilya Shapiro at the Cato Institute
    Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America's Highest Court - Ilya Shapiro
    Term Limits Won’t Fix the Court - Ilya Shapiro
    Roberts Rules - Ilya Shapiro
    Everything you need to know about Amy Coney Barrett - Rev. Ben Johnson
    ‘A different kind of lawyer’: Amy Coney Barrett on Christian vocation - Joseph Sunde
    High Court, high stakes: Replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Trey Dimsdale
    Religious liberty at the Supreme Court - Acton Line

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    • 39 min
    Stephanie Slade on will-to-power conservatism

    Stephanie Slade on will-to-power conservatism

    With fusionism – the strategic alliance of conservative foreign policy hawks, social conservatives and economic libertarians knitted together in the last half of the 20th century in opposition to international communism ­­– crumbling after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the modern conservative movement has been remaking itself in effort to address the problems of the current day.
    One of these seemingly ascendant factions are the so-called common good conservatives.
    In an article in the October 2020 edition of Reason magazine, managing editor Stephanie Slade examines the what she calls the “great liberalism schism” that has emerged out of the collapse of fusionism.
    And for the common good conservatives shedding classical liberal norms, she identifies a new moniker: will-to-power conservativism, borrowing a concept from German philosopher Friederich Nietzsche. 
    In this episode, Stephanie Slade discusses will-to-power conservatism, who exactly has a claim on the concept of the common good, and what the great liberalism schism means for our politics and society.
    Stephanie Slade at Reason magazine
    Will-to-Power Conservatism and the Great Liberalism Schism - Stephanie Slade
    The biggest problems of national conservatism - Acton Line
    The Post-Liberal Right: The Good, the Bad, and the Perplexing - Sam Gregg
    Patrick Deneen and the Problem with Liberalism - Sam Gregg
    Rev. Robert Sirico responds to Marco Rubio's 'common good capitalism' - Acton Line

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    • 31 min
    Dylan Pahman on Charles Malik and 'Christ and Crisis'

    Dylan Pahman on Charles Malik and 'Christ and Crisis'

    Charles Malik, the Lebanese diplomat and one of the drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was intimately involved in the crises of his own day, from the challenge of international communism to the internal challenges and problems of the West itself. For Malik all of our challenges take the form of crises which, at their deepest levels, reflect Christ’s judgement.
    His profoundly theological vision of global crisis, one in which crises are ongoing in the lives of individual believers as well as the world at large, springs from his own lifelong Orthodox faith.
    In a world consumed by crises from the global COVID-19 pandemic to ongoing civil unrest in the United States Malik’s insights are timelier than ever for believers trying to navigate through a turbulent world.
    In this episode, Acton’s Dan Hugger talks with Dylan Pahman, research fellow and managing editor of the Journal of Markets and Morality at the Acton Institute, about Malik’s life and his book "Christ and Crisis" in which he presents his Christ-centered interpretative framework for grappling with a rapidly changing world.
    Christ and Crisis - Charles Malik
    Charles Malik - Hero of Liberty, Religion & Liberty
    The burden of the Christian - Charles Malik
    ‘Christ and Crisis’ today - Dylan Pahman

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    • 45 min

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