Acton University 2010 Lectures

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Select the 2010 Acton University lectures you wish to purchase from any of the days below and proceed to checkout. Each lecture is in MP3 format that is suited for listening on devices like the iPod and other digital players, as well as your computer.

Day One - June 15, 2010

  • Thoughts on Human Dignity - Rev. Robert A. Sirico $0.99
    Rev. Robert A. Sirico's opening night lecture for Acton University 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Day Two - June 16, 2010

  • Foundations of a Free and Virtuous Society - Dr. Stephen Grabill $0.99
    This lecture sorts out the confusing and thorny issue of the use of Scripture and religious authority in crafting a strategy to engage the public institutions of society, and touches on how virtue can be taught and then acted upon effectively in society to reinvigorate a moral consensus.
  • Alexis de Tocqueville: Philosopher of Civil Society - Dr. Daniel Mahoney $0.99
    In his famous work, Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville discussed the importance of what he called "intermediary institutions" as an important element to maintain liberty and social cohesion. This course will examine some of the main elements of Tocqueville's thought including democratic notions of equality and the importance of a civil society as a key to liberty and human flourishing.
  • Centralization and Civil Society - Dr. Daniel Mahoney $0.99
    A strong civil society is now recognized as indispensible for human freedom, and as noted by scholars such as Alexis de Tocqueville, its polar opposite is the centralization of power. This lecture explores the theme of the causes and manifestations of centralization as well as options for halting its progress.
  • Christian Poverty in an Age of Prosperity ('10) - Rev. Robert A. Sirico $0.99
    Christ calls us to Spiritual Poverty. In today's prosperous society, that call frequently goes unheard or misinterpreted. Rev. Sirico discusses how one can try to live out Gospel poverty in the middle of a prosperous society.
  • Cultural Decay in Free and Planned Economies - Dr. Jonathan Witt $0.99
    Even many who favor free markets express considerable worry about its effects upon a culture’s ability to appreciate and embody the true, the good and the beautiful. This lecture examines the moral culture of capitalisms, dispels certain myths about its cultural effects, explores issues such as consumerism, and highlights what Christians can do to ensure that markets promote rather than diminish a truly human culture.
  • Medieval Economics: The Untold Story - Jeffrey Tucker $0.99
    The Middle Ages were a period of enormous cultural growth in the West, including its appreciation of key economic concepts. Tucker examines the economic thought of two medieval theologians, Bernandino of Sienna and Antonio of Florence, whose work broke new ground in economic science, especially when it came to ideas about prices, value, and the moral benefits of entrepreneurship.
  • Social and Economic Context of the New Testament ('10) - Dr. Stephen Grabill $0.99
    New research on the economic context of Jesus’ teaching on wealth and exchange points to the need to take into account the nature and extent of market arrangements in first-century Roman Palestine. This lecture shows that in the Gospels we find Jesus recognizing a growing role for market exchange and a legitimate pursuit of economic gain through risk-taking alongside of the need for the practice of general reciprocity.
  • The Ecumenical Movement and Economics: A Critique - Jordan Ballor $0.99
    The ecumenical movement serves an important role in Protestant ecclesiology, but development of this role has all too often been hampered by inadequate ethical, theological, and economic thinking. This course provides an overview and critical engagement with recent developments among the World Council of Churches (WCC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and the newly formed World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).
  • The Federalist Debate: Balancing Liberty and Order - Dr. John Pinheiro $0.99
    A free society needs both liberty and order. One cannot be free without order, but a commitment to order can subtly undermine freedom. This lecture examines the treatment of these issues through the lens of the Federalist Debate that did not so much shape the American experiment of ordered liberty.

Day Three - June 17, 2010

  • An Awesome Responsibility of Leadership - Bill Pollard $0.99
    Bill Pollard's evening plenary address from Acton University 2010.
  • Social Justice: Fair and Victimless v. Free and Virtuous - Rudy Carrasco $0.99
    A goal of ministry will always be to help those in need. However, ministries working to design and enforce a fair and victimless society and those who strive to empower individuals in a free and virtuous society often find themselves at odds. The lecture addresses the anthropological, theological, and practical implications of each approach, and opens discussion to bridging the communication gap between the two.
  • Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching - Rev. Raymond de Souza $0.99
    This lecture introduces participants to the history of modern Catholic social teaching from Rerum Novarum onward, and establishes the nature, purpose, and basic principles of Catholic social teaching.
  • Stewardship, Generosity, and Charitable Giving - Brett Elder $0.99
    Like notions related to worship and discipleship, the idea of stewardship is yet another "ship" that can drift into somewhat murky waters––especially if you are looking for common understanding. Is generosity synonymous with stewardship? Does charitable giving constitute generosity? Are these issues central to the Christian life in both theory and practice?
  • The Emergent Church - Dr. Anthony Bradley $0.99
    This session explores the theological and social justice orientation of some "emergent" churches. Central themes include the intergenerational theological tensions among evangelicals, the trend toward social justice concerns which trump the traditional evangelical concerns toward life, marriage, and so on, in some circles, and the trend toward poverty and environmental activism.
  • The New Deal and the Great Society: Moral and Economic Failure - Klay & Claar $0.99
    This course examines and critiques the principal economic ideas and policies of the New Deal and Great Society eras in American history. Special attention is paid to the parallels between the key economic doctrines then and their resurgence now, the historical verdict on Keynesian economic philosophy, and how private charity efforts can significantly reduce the volume of public safety net programs.

Day Four - June 18, 2010

  • Bonhoeffer's Social Ethics - Jordan Ballor $0.99
    A survey of the ethical thought of one of the most dynamic and influential Lutheran theologians of the twentieth century. Special attention will be paid to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s thinking on the institutions of marriage and family, culture and work, church, and government.
  • Breaking Dependency: Stewardship and the End of Aid - Brett Elder $0.99
    As the debate rages over the real impact and consequences of government aid to end the war on poverty, quietly an unintended ecclesiastical welfare system relegates the emerging Church around the world to a mindset of poverty. Western funding remains the financial fuel that powers the engine of the growth of the Church around the world. For all the good that is done in the name of missions, at what point does Western funding hurt more than it helps?
  • Distributivism: The Theory and Critique ('10) - Kishore Jayabalan $0.99
    Increasingly popular among Christians of all confessions, the economic theory of distributism, often associated with Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, is often presented as a Christian ‘third way’ between capitalism and socialism. This lecture outlines distributist theory and articulates a robust critique of its premises and workings.
  • Envy and the Search for Fairness in Our Economic Relationships ('10) - Dr. Victor Claar $0.99
    In a free-market system, participants are free to pursue exchanges that lead to their mutual benefit. Yet market economies do not lead to equal outcomes, even though the same rules apply to all participants. Using the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20) as a starting point, and drawing upon the most up-to-date research, this course will critically examine the potentially corrosive role that envy may play in our relationships in a market economy. Critiques the idea of equality of economic outcomes from a moral and anthropological perspective.
  • Pensions and Social Security - Oskari Juurikkala $0.99
    Aging populations in Europe and America present us with unique economic and moral challenges in the realm of social security. This lecture looks at different options for the future and the role potentially played by market forces in resolving these challenges.
  • Cultural and Social Critiques of Globalization - Michael Miller $0.99
    Global capitalism and globalization have been praised or criticized in many areas, including politics, social concerns, economics, and culture. This course focuses on some of the social and cultural critiques of global capitalism and the impact of globalization on culture.
  • Development, Microfinance and Foreign Direct Investment - Anielka Munkel $0.99
    Development Aid continues to be promoted as a key element to help alleviate poverty in the developing world yet critics increasingly point out that it has not been as effective as was hoped. Foreign Direct Investment is both praised as creating opportunity and criticized as exploitative while microfinance is a model that many are embracing as a way to provide development with dignity. This course examines the these topics from economic, moral and theological vantage points with the goal of separating the reality from the rhetoric so to better understand these highly debated topics.
  • Your Case Study: The Essential Tool Most Often Forgotten In Non-Profit Resource Leadership - Dr. Scott Preissler $0.99
    This course examines the implications of using a stewardship model to understand the role of a leader, the purpose of corporate governance, and the importance of service in the not-for-profit world. It also lays out the principles of the newly burgeoning field of steward leadership.
  • Business as a Moral Enterprise -Theology of Work - Andreas Widmer $0.99
    This course examines business in the context of an integrated moral life. It argues that not only can business be performed in a moral manner, but that business is essentially a moral enterprise, a good for society, an opportunity for virtue, and an essential element of the free society.
  • Closing Lecture: Piety and Technique - Rev. Robert A. Sirico $0.99