Acton University 2018: Day 2


Evening Plenary

  • Janice Rogers Brown Evening Plenary $0.00

Session 5

  • Not As a Cloak for Malice: Liberty in Orthodox Social Thought (Rev. Gregory Jensen) $0.99
    In the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the fullest expression of liberty is our transformation from life in “the image of God” to life in the “likeness of God.” This course touches briefly on liberty in the Scriptures and the Church fathers, and then examines how freedom is understood in the Orthodox liturgical tradition, spirituality, iconography and contemporary social thought.
  • Cronyism: Stealing from the Poor to Protect the Rich (Anne Rathbone Bradley) $0.99
    Cronyism occurs when business interests are intermingled with the interests of the state. Environments where cronyism is rampant protect the status of the wealthy and the elite at the expense of the poor. Cronyism limits income mobility and value creation for ordinary people and exacerbates the worst form of income inequality: protection of the rich at the expense of the poor.
  • Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It (David Bahnsen) $0.99
    An evaluation of the cultural milieu that has turned overtly populist and anti-establishment, yet apart from embracing the mediating institutions necessary for civic life. From trade to automation to immigration to education to right-size of government to the financial crisis, where does in blame-casting need to end, and responsibility begin?
  • Good Before Useful: Why a Good Liberal Arts Education Makes Better Business (David Deavel) $0.99
    “What kind of job can you get with that degree?” This course will cover why a liberal education—and even a liberal arts degree—can be the best preparation for those who want to enter the marketplace after graduation. It will also examine the changing higher education landscape and how best to achieve that kind of education in the future.
  • How Do Christians Think? (Peter Kreeft) $0.99
    What is distinctively Christian about (1) the role and importance of thinking, (2) the source of thinking, and (3) the content of thinking in every life-changing area, not only theology but also philosophy (especially, but not only, ethics), anthropology (and the social sciences), politics, aesthetics, history, the arts, and the natural sciences?
  • International Economic Development: East Asia (Dato Kim Tan) $0.99
  • Kuyper and Colson (John Stonestreet) $0.99
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Theological Reflections on Vocation, Calling, and Work (J. Daryl Charles) $0.99
    A once noble concept – the notion of vocatio or “calling” – has fallen on hard times. Where it has not fallen into obscurity due to mind-numbing secularism, it has been tragically ignored – or distorted – by the church, understood to be reserved for church-related work, priesthood or pastoring, or “full-time Christian service.” This defective understanding of “vocation,” found among Catholics and Protestants alike, perpetuates an insidious “sacred-versus-secular” dichotomy, thereby undermining the dignity and high calling of work performed in the marketplace, to which the overwhelming majority of Christians in fact are called. This session will argue that our lives are meaningful – or meaningless – to the extent that as individuals created in the image of God we are aware of (a) our vocation/calling and (b) the dignity of being called to work in the secular marketplace.
  • The Importance of Free Trade (Philip Booth) $0.99
    This lecture will examine the importance of free trade. It will begin by looking at the conditions in which free trade benefits countries and explain why protectionist interests are still so prominent in politics. The presentation will then examine the implications for free trade for prosperity in less developed and more developed countries. The idea that countries need to protect their industries to develop will be examined.
  • The Relevance of the Federalist Papers Today (Hans-Martien ten Napel) $0.99
    In 2015, renowned progressive legal scholar Sanford Levinson published a book, entitled An Argument Open to All. Reading the Federalist in the 21st Century. In this lecture, we will look at some of Levinson’s findings regarding ‘the most important work in political science ever written in the United States’, and also ask ourselves the question: where does he go wrong?
  • The Thought of Leo XIII (Daniel Frascella) $0.99
    Leo XIII is considered the father of modern Catholic social teaching. Yet Leo’s influence was much greater. After the loss of the papal states, Leo re-oriented the papacy toward an evangelical engagement with the world. His work on the social order emphasized the Christian disciple’s role in “ruling” the temporal spheres entrusted to him. In a time when secular liberal states are infected with totalitarian impulses, Leo’s vision is very timely.
  • Thinking Theologically about Entrepreneurship: Why Does it Matter? (Joseph Gorra) $0.99
    This session will describe the value of what it means to ‘think theologically’ about entrepreneurship and why that matters for studying entrepreneurial activity. Our discussion is intended to introduce important factors for learning how to theologically address issues of entrepreneurship and to indicate areas for future theological reflection. While this session is focused on Christian theological reflection, it by no means follows that Christians are the only stakeholders of a theology of entrepreneurship.
  • Why Hayek Should Matter to Christians (Sarah Estelle) $0.99
    Nobel Laureate and Austrian economist F. A. Hayek is often recognized as author of the popular The Road to Serfdom or for his, less popular at the time, opposition to interventionist John Maynard Keynes. This course will present a more multi-dimensional introduction to the keen observations of Hayek and suggest some areas of particular relevance to people of faith.

Session 6

  • Alexis de Tocqueville: The Man and His Times (John Wilsey) $0.99
    Alexis de Tocqueville is famous for writing one of the most important works on American institutions and culture ever written – Democracy in America. The work has been celebrated by Americans since the two volume work appeared in 1840. But what does Tocqueville mean when he uses terms like “equality,” “democracy,” and “liberty”? This lecture will consider the life and times of Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as what he meant when he talked of American democracy. We will also explore the ways in which Tocqueville’s observations and prescriptions remain eminently useful to us today, nearly 180 years after he completed his classic work.
  • Cryptocurrencies (Jeffrey Tucker) $0.99
    Alexis de Tocqueville is famous for writing one of the most important works on American institutions and culture ever written – Democracy in America. The work has been celebrated by Americans since the two volume work appeared in 1840. But what does Tocqueville mean when he uses terms like “equality,” “democracy,” and “liberty”? This lecture will consider the life and times of Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as what he meant when he talked of American democracy. We will also explore the ways in which Tocqueville’s observations and prescriptions remain eminently useful to us today, nearly 180 years after he completed his classic work.
  • How to Respond to Transgender Ideology (Ryan Anderson) $0.99
  • Microaggressions and the Public Good (Elizabeth Corey) $0.99
    This lecture will explain the concept of microaggressions—their origin and meaning in the present day—and give examples of the most common types of microaggressions. Corey then turns to a sustained critique of microaggressions, both in their conception and measurement and in the way they are used by businesses and universities.
  • Moral Imagination (Michael Matheson Miller) $0.99
    Edmund Burke wrote of the importance of the "moral imagination" for a healthy political and social order. Using thinkers including Burke, Russell Kirk, CS Lewis, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Ian McGilchrist and others, this course will examine the idea of "moral imagination" and its relationship to politics, education, and human flourishing, and will suggest several steps for educating and the building up the moral imagination.
  • Religious Liberty: The Dawn of the First Amendment (John Pinhiero) $0.99
    Recent federal statutes threaten to undermine religious liberty in the United States of America. This lecture will explore the history leading up to and immediately following the addition of the First Amendment, with its religious liberty clauses, to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith (Francis J. Beckwith) $0.99
    In this session we will critically examine how and why courts, legal scholars, and other powerful actors in public life often describe the conservative positions on social issues as “religious” and the liberal ones as “secular,” implying that only the latter can be deliverances of “reason.” We will pay particular attention to controversies concerning the sanctity of human life, marriage, religious liberty, and the place of God in public life.
  • The Entrepreneur: The Servant of the User (Robert Luddy) $0.99
    Successful entrepreneurs must be "alert" to users’ needs, requirements and how to solve perplexing problems creatively. This process requires new levels of thinking, flexibility, knowledge, and the virtues of perseverance and prudence. Conventional thinking and industry practices are largely abandoned in this process. This course will examine the virtues and the vocation of the entrepreneur.
  • The Hebrew Republic & the Origins of America's Constitutional Liberty (Susan Harper) $0.99

Session 7

  • An Introduction to Abraham Kuyper’s Public Theology (Jordan Ballor) $0.99
    Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) was a man of many talents and achievements. He edited two newspapers, founded a university, led the formation of a new denomination, championed a new political movement, and served as prime minister of the Netherlands. He was also a formidable controversialist, a brilliant theologian, and a tireless advocate of public justice. This session will introduce his “public theology,” that is, his vision of social life and its theological foundations, with special emphasis on his understanding of common grace, sphere sovereignty, and principled pluralism.
  • Behind the Labels: Conservatism and Liberalism in American History (Kevin Schmiesing) $0.99
    The capacity to categorize and label is an important faculty of human intelligence, but it is also a dangerous tendency that can distort and dehumanize. We will explore the meanings of the terms "conservative" and "liberal," focusing mainly on the American context. Our goal is to understand better the way these labels have become attached to certain individuals, institutions, and ideas, and thereby discern how they can be helpful in expressing certain realities and at the same time harmful in obscuring important truths. In an era of ideological polarization, an assessment of the genealogy of political terminology is a necessary step toward genuine dialogue.
  • Down-to-Earth Faith: C.S. Lewis’s Medieval Incarnational Wisdom (Chris Armstrong) $0.99
    The medievalist C S Lewis lived a theology and spirituality of ordinary bodily life and work that we miss today. He got it directly from early and medieval Christian tradition. While today many Christians think we can be “spiritual” without acting out our faith in everyday life, medieval Christians would have laughed. What can we learn from them through Lewis?
  • Globalization and Inequality (Philip Booth) $0.99
    This lecture will examine the implications of globalisation and of the move away from protectionism since 1980. It will have a specific focus on the implications for inequality. Inequality at the global level, within individual developed countries and in poor countries will be discussed. This has been the subject of much debate, not only in government but in supranational bodies. It is important that such debate is based on facts.
  • Judaism and Natural Law (Daniel Mark) $0.99
    Does Judaism have a natural law tradition? If not, is natural law compatible or reconcilable with Judaism? What does the relationship between Judaism and natural law mean for the idea of Jewish chosenness and mission? And what are the stakes for Jewish involvement in contemporary politics and society if Judaism and natural law do or do not go together?
  • St. Augustine and the City of Man (Rev. John Zuhlsdorf) $0.99
    Perhaps the most influential Church father of all time, St. Augustine is also the first author to deal with the problem of politics and civil society in light of Christianity. This lecture will examine his critique of pagan Rome and natural theology and what this means for the relationship between the City of God and the City of Man today.
  • Stimulating Virtuous Business (Peter Heslam) $0.99
    To what extent can Christianity provide a moral compass for business? This course will consider in particular the role of Calvinism and Catholicism in stimulating ethical enterprise. Special attention will be given to the ideas of Abraham Kuyper and to the tradition of papal encyclicals and their contemporary relevance to global business leadership.
  • The Politics of Apocalypse: Pop-Culture at the End of the World (Robert Joustra) $0.99
    We live in apocalyptic times. Everything is “the end of the world” and our popular culture is rich with the imagination of the apocalypse. Move over Ragnarok and Armageddon, we’ve ushered in a new dystopian turn in politics and pop-culture: zombies stalk the land, machines revolt against us, fragmentation and fracture split, divide, and ultimately destroy us. Using A Secular Age as a lens through which to understand this dystopian shift, this lecture argues that this “dystopian turn” reveals (root: apocalypse) important anxieties and fears about our age: the drift of anomie and individualism, consequentialism and utilitarianism, and a double loss of freedom. With the likes of Katniss Everdeen and Jamie Lannister as our guides, this introduction to reading popular culture is as political as it is popular, as artistic as it is religious, the pathologies of the modern moral order anything but play, as we get serious about our new politics of apocalypse.
  • The Sexual State and Gender Ideology (Jennifer Roback Morse) $0.99
    This lecture addresses these questions: What is the Gender Ideology and what is wrong with it? Topics covered include varieties of feminism, sexual complementarity of men and women, homosexuality, and transgenderism. What role has the State played in implementing this ideology throughout society? Does the Gender Ideology contribute to human liberty or detract from it? What is a Christ-like response to the Gender Ideology?
  • Vested Private Rights: The Foundation of American Constitutionalism (Adam MacLeod) $0.99
    Joseph Story, one of America's greatest jurists, insisted that "no State government can be presumed to possess the transcendental sovereignty to take away vested rights of property." For more than a century from the Founding, lawyers and jurists recognized this doctrine of vested private rights as the basic doctrine of American constitutionalism. Many state constitutions, and some provisions of the Constitution of the United States, continue to protect vested rights against retrospective abrogation. Yet today, states are widely assumed to have the power to redefine or even abrogate vested property rights by regulating private property. This lecture will explain the basic doctrine of vested rights, examine what has gone wrong, and suggest areas of the law where this foundation of ordered liberty can be restored.
  • Whittaker Chambers' Witness for the 21st Century (Greg Forster) $0.99
    A Soviet spy who was converted to Christ, Whittaker Chambers sacrificed everything for the sake of his Christian witness against injustice. As one of the most profound Christian thinkers of the 20th century, Chambers offers reflections on religion and public life with far-reaching implications for the 21st. We’ll explore how his story points to uncomfortable lessons for Left and Right alike in our own day.