Acton University 2013


Select the 2013 Acton University lectures you wish to purchase. Lectures are in MP3 format which is suitable for listening on mobile devices and your computer. Don't want to download lectures? Get recorded sessions from 2010 to 2013 on a USB flash drive. Click here to get the AU Pocket Flash Drive 181 Lecture Bundle for $29.95 at the Acton Book Shop!

Electronic Bundle (56 Lectures)

Download all of the lectures below in an easy ZIP file bundle. All lectures are in MP3 format. Total size: 1.25GB
  • Acton University 2013 Electronic Lecture Bundle $14.99

2013 Evening Talks

  • Opening Lecture (Rev. Robert A. Sirico) $1.99
    Rev. Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute, delivered the opening keynote address of Acton University 2013, in which he discussed the foundations of human flourishing and of a free and virtuous society.
  • Finding Christ in an Iranian Prison (Ms. Marina Nemat) $1.99
    Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution.
  • Hong Kong and the Virtues of the Free Market (William McGurn) $1.99
    On June 20, 2013, William McGurn, the Editorial Page Editor of The New York Post, delivered a plenary address to participants in Acton University at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. McGurn reflected on his experiences in Hong Kong as a writer for Dow Jones, and the virtues of the free market that he observed while stationed there.
  • Closing Lecture (Dr. Samuel Gregg) $1.99
    Dr. Samuel Gregg's closing address featured a reflection on the reality of various forms of persecution and oppression faced by Christians today around the world, and offered a way forward for the faithful to defend freedom of religion in modern society.

Day 1: June 19, 2013

  • Why John Henry Newman Matters (Dr. David Deavel) $1.99
    While opposing “liberalism” in religion—the notion that all theological beliefs are equal—John Henry Newman was, in politics and economics, “in the liberal tradition.” This course covers Newman's orthodox Christian approach to the advantages and challenges for modern believers in liberal regimes and market driven economies.
  • Why Frederic Bastiat Matters (Dr. Todd Flanders) $1.99
    Frederic Bastiat was one of the nineteenth-century’s most prominent and prolific defenders of the free market. Fewer people know that Bastiat also reflected deeply on religious questions. This lecture introduces Bastiat’s economic and religious thought, underlining the connections between the two.
  • Why John Locke Matters (Kishore Jayabalan) $1.99
    Locke is the most famous proponent of a system of limited government that rules by the consent of the governed on the basis of human freedom. This system builds on while also reinterpreting traditional Christian teaching on God, man and property. This lecture examines the similarities and differences between Locke and his predecessors, and what these mean for Christians living in the modern world.
  • Business and the Common Good (Dr. Scott Rae) $1.99
    In the light of numerous charges, particularly as a result of the financial crisis and its aftermath, of the destructive potential of business, this course examines the various ways that business contributes to the common good of society, and addresses both the need for profit and the mandate for service in answering the question, "what's a business for?"
  • Faith Communities and Emerging Economies (Garreth Bloor) $1.99
    How can the church help to assist communities during the transition and disruption that comes from economic development? This course explores both the crucial and distinct functions faith communities play, and the unique challenges and opportunities they face in emerging economies.
  • Innovation and Divine Creativity (Prof. Ross Emmett) $1.99
    The course examines (1) what innovation is; (2) what moral, economic and institutional factors foster an innovative society; (3) some of the mistaken means by which contemporary economic policy seeks to promote innovation; and (4) how a Christian anthropology informs respect for the role of innovation in society.
  • Getting Social Justice Right (Dr. Greg Forster) $1.99
    Social justice is one of the most used expressions by Christians when it comes to economic questions. But what does it really mean? Is every use of the expression justified? This lecture examines these questions as it explains accurate and inaccurate uses of the term.
  • Communitarianism - Theory and Critique (Dr. Kenneth Grasso) $1.99
    This course explores two different understandings of community that have emerged in the course of modern history, their respective understandings of the human person and society, and the implications of each for our understanding of the state and its role in the overall economy of human social life.
  • Origins of Economics: The Scriptures and Early Church Fathers (Dr. Edd Noell) $1.99
    This lecture examines the treatment of material goods, wealth and poverty in the Scriptures and the teachings of early Greek and Latin Fathers such as St John Chrysostom, St. Basil of Caesarea and St Ambrose of Milan, and St. Augustine of Hippo. It provides background and context by consideration of the economic institutions of the Roman Empire.
  • Property Rights in the Old Testament I (Dr. David Baker) $1.99
    In contemporary culture, business, and even private ownership in general, is often portrayed as intrinsically evil. This lecture explores the place and responsibilities of ownership as presented in the opening books of the Bible.
  • Why Alexis de Tocqueville Matters (Dr. Kenneth Grasso) $1.99
    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 examines 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.
  • Religion and Presidential Politics in the Modern Era (Ray Nothstine) $1.99
    This session explores how religion has shaped the modern American political scene and its relationship to limited government as well as the rise in state power. The discussion focuses on the American presidency, religious influence in presidential campaigns, and its impact upon a free society.
  • Between Person and State: Understanding Civil Society (Dr. Kenneth Grasso) $1.99
    This course examines the role of mediating institutions in democratic society and discusses the relationship between individualism and centralization. It also addresses the principle of subsidiarity.
  • Why St. Augustine Matters (Kishore Jayabalan) $1.99
    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 examines 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.
  • Property Rights in the Old Testament II (Dr. Keith Reeves) $1.99
    This course will focus on the important role that private property plays in the Old Testament (excluding the Pentateuch which is covered in a previous section) especially in relationship to family, kinship, and social cohesion. It will examine the normative texts on property and wealth creation from the historical books through the end of the OT and the critique by the prophets of economic injustice and oppression. This course examines the interrelationship of these two dimensions and raise questions of contemporary relevance.
  • Biblical Foundations of Freedom (Dr. Charles Self) $1.99
    This course 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.
  • Competing Visions of Creativity (Dr. Jonathan Witt) $1.99
    How societies understand human creativity shapes the kind of economies and cultures they create. This course examines how such philosophical strands as nominalism, Baconian empiricism, materialism, and romanticism have shaped (and misshaped) the West’s understanding of human creativity, and explore how thinkers working from a Judeo-Christian understanding of God, humanity, and creation (e.g., Thomas Aquinas and Abraham Kuyper) offer crucial insights for repairing our culture’s vision of human creativity and encouraging human flourishing.

Day 2: June 20, 2013

  • Beyond the Sustainability Complex (Dr. Anthony Bradley) $1.99
    This course serves as an introduction to the international movement of designing physical objects, the built environment and services to comply with the principles of economic, social, ecological sustainability.
  • Natural Law and the Foundation of Politics (Dr. J. Budziszewski) $1.99
    Humane law and government require an ethical foundation. Echoing this ancient view, the American founders justified their bid for independence in the name of "the laws of nature and nature's God." For a time in eclipse, the classical natural law tradition is experiencing a renaissance, but most university curricula still neglect it. This lecture brings you up to speed.
  • Business as Mission (Mr. Rodolpho Carrasco) $1.99
    'Business As Mission' (BAM) is the new wave of integrating business and ministry whereby business professionals use their God-given skills and talents to build the Kingdom. This workshop explores the various ways business and mission intersect (business-not mission, business and mission, business for mission, business as mission), the quadruple bottom line of BAM, and case studies of BAM both at home and abroad.
  • Catholic Social Teaching 101 (Rev. Raymond de Souza) $1.99
    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.
  • Evangelicals and Social Justice (Dr. John Teevan) $1.99
    Moves beyond popular misconceptions about social justice to see and explain its redistributionist roots in John Rawls. Understanding the economics of wealth creation and income distribution in the decades of globalization and inflation is presented with biblical integration.
  • Business Ethics 101 (Mr. Andreas Widmer) $1.99
    This course looks at the various approaches to business ethics and examines their origins, assumptions, applications and impact, and explores specifically the Vatican's "The Vocation of the Business Leader" as a concrete proposal for business ethics.
  • Wealth and Poverty in the Gospel of Luke (Dr. John Armstrong) $1.99
    In current discussions about what the Bible has to offer those who seek to address systemic evils in society, the Gospel of Luke (along with the OT prophets) is the place where most usually begin. This lecture explores what can and can't be gleaned for the pursuit of shalom from Luke's Gospel.
  • The Church and Urban Education (Dr. Anthony Bradley) $1.99
    Research shows that inner-city churches are the second greatest predictor of education success for at-risk youth after parents in eliminating the black/white achievement gap. This session explores why churches are more successful than non-profits and what specific actions inner-city churches can take to overcome low-performing schools.
  • Church, City, and Urban Renewal (Pastor Christopher Brooks) $1.99
    This lecture introduces listeners to the theological intersection between the biblical call for advocating justice for the poor and weak, and the market economy in an urban context, with consideration given to the pertinent scriptural texts, Christian thought and historical theology concerning wealth creation, management and distribution.
  • Orthodoxy, Church, and State (Very Rev. Michael Butler) $1.99
    For centuries, the relationship between Orthodox churches and the state with majority-Orthodox countries has been close. This lecture explains the historical and theological background to this relationship, and how it has changed in the modern world.
  • The Rise and Fall of the European Social Market (Dr. Samuel Gregg) $1.99
    After World War II, many West European governments implemented economic policies that sought to enhance the economic security of the population and promote economic equity. This lecture examines the origins of these policies, discusses their strengths and weaknesses, and considers the reasons for the apparent faltering of the European Social Model.
  • Truth With a Capital T: Does It Really Matter? (Dr. Joseph Wooddell) $1.99
    Both academia and popular culture often see truth as relative. This lecture examines the theological and philosophical origins of relativism, and shows how such a view corrupts public discussion of social and economic questions.
  • Marketplace as Social Shalom (Dr. Anthony Bradley) $1.99
    This session explores the societal implications of understanding business as a social justice vocation by nature and defines the ways in which marketplace leaders are invaluable as the primary change agents for communities seeking to help to the poor and bring peace.
  • When Helping Hurts (Dr. Brian Fikkert) $1.99
    The Bible is full of commands that Christians should help the poor. But how do we actually do this? Unfortunately, churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. Based on the best-selling book of the same title, this course explores the fundamental nature of poverty and suggests practical steps for effective poverty alleviation.
  • Religious Liberty in the Modern State (Dr. Greg Forster) $1.99
    Today’s threats to religious liberty have deep historical sources. The modern state began with an unprecedented expansion of religious freedom in the 18th century, and it continues to create openings for advancing that freedom. However, paradoxically, the basic principles of the modern state also create unique dangers for freedom of religion. We’ll explore the challenges and opportunities for religious liberty in our time.

Day 3: June 21, 2013

  • Why Dietrich Bonhoeffer Matters (Dr. Jordan Ballor) $1.99
    The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) leaves a fascinating and often puzzling legacy. This session focuses on Bonhoeffer’s views of Christian discipleship, ethical responsibility, and social institutions, setting them in the broader context of his life and work. This session explores Bonhoeffer’s significance for following Christ today and his potential for the development of Protestant social thought.
  • Orthodoxy and Natural Law (Very Rev. Michael Butler) $1.99
    Eastern Orthodoxy is traditionally viewed as ambivalent about natural law. This lecture considers how natural law thinking might work in distinctly Orthodox ways of thinking about the relationship between faith and reason and its implications of the social order.
  • Statesman: The Thought of Leo XIII (Rev. Raymond de Souza) $1.99
    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.
  • The Church and Modern Civilization (Dr. Greg Forster) $1.99
    Modern civilization and the church have never quite known what to do with each other. Modern civilization struggles to sustain a moral consensus without a shared religion, while the church struggles to situate itself within a society that neither clearly embraces nor clearly rejects it. We’ll explore the challenges and opportunities created by the unique socio-political model of religious freedom.
  • Religious Liberty: The Dawn of the First Amendment (Dr. John Pinhiero) $1.99
    Recent federal statutes threaten to undermine what the U.S. Catholic bishops have called, "our first, most cherished liberty." This lecture explores the historical context that led to origins of the religious liberty clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Christianity and Postmodernity (Mr. John Stonestreet) $1.99
    This course examines the philosophical and theological challenges that postmodern ideas and the postmodern mood presents to the formation of a Biblical economic worldview, and touches on how our understanding of morality, value, the nature of the human person, and the market has been shaped by the skepticism embedded in the contemporary mindset.
  • The Hidden Costs of Cohabitation (W. Bradford Wilcox) $1.99
    The decline of marriage rates and the increase of co-habitation rates in the West present significant challenges to social, political and economic order. This lecture explores the sociological and economic effects and implications of the spread of cohabitation, and asks what might be the most significant ways of ensuring that marriage is not submerged by cohabitation trends.
  • Why Abraham Kuyper Matters (Dr. Vincent Bacote) $1.99
    The Reformed thinker and social activist Abraham Kuyper is arguably one of the greatest Christian serial entrepreneurs of the modern era. Amongst his start-ups was a newspaper, a university and a political party. The crown of his achievement was in 1901, when he became Prime Minister of the Netherlands. But what is the significance of his legacy for entrepreneurship and economic development today?
  • Theologians vs. Capitalism (Dr. P.J. Hill) $1.99
    A number of prominent theologians oppose capitalism even though former Communist nations have turned to market systems for organizing their economic activity. This session examines some of the reasons given by these theologians for opposing capitalism and attempts to justify market systems.
  • Why John Wesley Matters (Dr. Charles Self) $1.99
    This course examines the context, content and lasting consequences of John Wesley's leadership in establishing the evangelical movement, expressing ecumenical openness to other Christian traditions and his integration of spiritual awakening with economic and social reform. He is model of biblical thoughtfulness, principled inclusiveness, and contextual praxis.
  • Common Grace in Business (Dr. Vincent Bacote) $1.99
    Protestant thinkers are credited with putting common grace ‘in business’ – in both senses. Could this be part of the so-called ‘Protestant Ethic’ that has contributed to the rise of capitalism? We will also consider how this doctrine applies – conceptually and practically – to contemporary business and how it can help shape the future.
  • East Meets West: Consumerism and Asceticism (Rev. Gregory Jensen) $1.99
    Asceticism is concerned with the “inner transformation of the human person, in his being progressively conformed to Christ.” Understood in this way, asceticism has a foundational role to play in any Christian response to the practical and anthropological challenges of consumerism.
  • Partnership Based Community Development (Rev. Svetlana Papazov) $1.99
    The drive to maintain political correctness makes it easier for Christians to compartmentalize their lives and to separate the sacred from the secular. This course will look at how this trend appears in the American public school system and propose a practical methodology for bridging this divide at the local level.
  • Christianity and Cultural Responsibility (Mr. John Stonestreet) $1.99
    What is the scope of Christian concern? How far shall we pursue influence and transformation? This course will reexamine H. Richard Neibuhr's categories from Christ and Culture, and their usefulness in light of an increasingly post-Christian context of radical autonomy, aggressive secularism, waning Biblical literacy and the rise of neo-gnosticism.
  • Anthropology and Policy (Dr. Anthony Bradley) $1.99
    This session explores the implications of competing visions of human nature in the development of public policy from welfare policy to minimum wage. Participants will learn how to quickly analyze the anthropological presuppositions of policy and learn tools for effectively challenging the assumptions that undermine human freedom.
  • 21st Century Religion (Rev. Raymond de Souza) $1.99
    Religion emerged as a dominant force in shaping the final years of the twentieth century, from Communism’s peaceful defeat to the rise to jihadist terrorism. In the 21st century, religion will help determine the prospects of free and virtuous societies, and the potential for peace between nations. What might the Christian proposal offer in a world contending with both religious and secular fundamentalism?
  • Why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Matters (Rev. Johannes Jacobse) $1.99
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the courageous Russian writer, contributed indispensably to bringing down the Soviet Union. Conventional Western opinion sees his story, too, as ending then. But the conflict of good against evil and truth against lies runs throughout the moral universe, not just the Soviet scene. Moreover, half of his writings are not yet in English. This is the unknown Solzhenitsyn.
  • Why Jean-Jacques Rousseau Matters (Mr. Kishore Jayabalan) $1.99
    Rousseau is the most far-reaching and incisive critic of the commercial society and its effects on the individual and society; virtually every contemporary complaint made against capitalism is derivative of his. What is the nature of Rousseau’s critique and how does he propose to resolve the problems of modern life? And how should proponents of the market economy respond?
  • From Paternalism to Partnership (Mr. Doug Seebeck) $1.99
    This course critiques some of the dominant approaches in economic development of the last several decades and focuses on new models for partnership and business development in emerging economies.