Acton University 2014


Lectures from Acton University 2014.

Evening talks and lunch lectures are available for free!

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AU 2014 Evening Talks

  • Opening Lecture (Rev. Robert A. Sirico - AU 14) $0.00
    The opening address of Acton University 2014.
  • Culture Care: From Common Grace to Loving Your Enemies (Makoto Fujimura - AU14) $0.00
  • Power (Andy Crouch - AU14) $0.00
    Andy Crouch, Executive Editor of Christianity Today, delivered the Thursday evening plenary address at Acton University 2014. Please note that due to technical difficulties, a portion of this recording is of lower quality.
  • A Conversation with Ross Douthat (Douthat & Sirico - AU14) $0.00
    The closing plenary session of Acton University 2014.

2014 Lunchtime Talks

  • The Golden Sea (Makoto Fujimura - AU14) $0.00
    Internationally acclaimed artist and public intellectual Makoto Fujimura entertains questions from the audience after a showing of his latest film, "The Golden Sea."
  • The Common Good in Seven Words (Andy Crouch - AU14) $0.00
    Andy Crouch, Executive Editor of Christianity Today, delivers a lunchtime lecture at Acton University 2014.

Day 1 - June 18, 2014

  • Christian Anthropology (Dr. Samuel Gregg - AU14) $1.99
    This lecture draws on Scripture, patristic sources, and natural law to ground the Christian vision of virtuous liberty in the idea of “freedom for excellence”, contrasting it with the alternative of “freedom of indifference”. It also outlines the concrete implications of these different understandings of human freedom.
  • Christian Vision of Government (Michael Matheson Miller - AU14) $1.99
    This course examines the Christian and natural law principles that inform Christian thinking about the role of government and law in free and virtuous societies, beginning with a survey of Christianity’s decisive moral and institutional contribution to limiting state power.
  • The Economic Way of Thinking (Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse - AU14) $1.99
    This lecture introduces the basic intellectual components of the economic way of thinking, examines the institutional prerequisites of the free economy, and considers their compatibility with Christian anthropology and its vision of virtuous liberty.
  • Biblical Foundations of Freedom (Dr. Charles Self - AU14) $1.99
    This lecture sorts out the thorny issue of the use of Scripture and religious authority in crafting a strategy to engage the public institutions of society. It also touches on how virtue can be taught and then acted upon effectively in society to reinvigorate a moral consensus.
  • Abraham Kuyper, Common Grace and Business (Dr. Peter Heslam - AU14) $1.99
    The Reformed thinker and Dutch Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper is one of the greatest serial entrepreneurs of history. Amongst his start-ups was a newspaper, a university and a political party. He is known as ‘the theologian of common grace’ and this lecture considers the relevance of this idea to contemporary business.

  • Biblical Theology of Covenant (Dr. Scott Hahn - AU14) $1.99
“Covenant” is the foundation of biblical religion, and neither Judaism nor Christianity can be understood apart from it. The Scriptures present creation, salvation, liturgy, law, war and peace, economics and polity in covenantal terms. Covenant makes a family relationship where none had existed before. While the term is prominent in the Old Testament, it fades in the New, giving way to the language of divine kinship. This course examines the profound implications of this for theology, spirituality, ecclesiology, and the daily lives of ordinary Christians.
  • Freedom Without God (Dr. Jay Richards - AU14) $1.99
    This course considers and contrasts the compatibility of theism and atheism with core "libertarian" principles of individual rights, freedom and responsibility, reason, moral truth, and limited government, and proposes that those principles contradict an atheistic and materialistic view of reality; but make far more sense in a theistic context.
  • Getting Social Justice Right (Ryan Anderson - AU14) $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.
  • Hope for the Inner City (Ismael Hernandez - AU14) $1.99
    In this lecture, Hernandez examines strategies to improve the socio-economic conditions of inner cities in North America. Fragile urban infrastructures are often vulnerable to patterns that impede human flourishing. This lecture presents an alternate vision for personal and communal uplift based on local entrepreneurial initiative.
  • How God's OT People Influenced Culture (Rev. Dr. Svetlana Papazov - AU14) $1.99
    This course provides a brief Old Testament survey in the lives of Joseph, Daniel, and Esther who served in high positions in the business and political world, and influenced kings and nations. It specifically looks at their holistic faith practice and the extent to which they impacted their pagan host cultures, raising awareness and acknowledgement of the true God.
  • Innovation and Divine Creativity (Prof. Ross Emmett - AU14) $1.99
    The course examines what innovation is; what moral, economic and institutional factors foster an innovative society; some of the mistaken means by which contemporary economic policy seeks to promote innovation; and how a Christian anthropology informs respect for the role of innovation in society.
  • Markets and Monasticism (Dylan Pahman - AU14) $1.99
    This course offers a brief survey and analysis of the historical interaction between Christian monasticism and markets, both East and West. The overwhelmingly positive practice of monastic enterprise since the beginning of the movement offers an important context for monastic teachings on wealth, possessions, and poverty, and challenges common caricatures of monasticism as being of no “earthly” good.
  • Spiritual Dangers of Doing Good (Peter Greer - AU14) $1.99
    Too often, we hear of good people doing good work who make very bad decisions. From making ministry your mistress to Christian karma, this course explores the hidden attitudes that can derail Christian leaders, and how the greatest danger we face isn’t an external factor, but the internal attitude that matters most.
  • Value Investing (David Bahnsen - AU14) $1.99
    With widespread public ownership of companies through the stock market and mutual and pension funds there is increasing interest in the moral implications of investing. This course examines the different understandings of socially responsible investing and how investors can invest in a manner that is both profitable and morally responsible.
  • We're All Dead: How J.M. Keynes--and His Critics--Went Wrong (Dr. Victor Claar - AU14) $1.99
    John Maynard Keynes claimed that the ultimate goal of human economic activity is consumption, and argued for policies aimed to maximize employment and GDP. Keynes’s critics were quick to argue that his proposed policies would prove either ineffective or poorly timed, but those critics ceded the terms of the debate—of maximizing employment and GDP—to Keynes. They were wrong as well, and in his address Claar explains why.
  • Crony Capitalism (Dr. Jay Richards - AU14) $1.99
    Popular comparisons of political economy often treat the primary options as either free-market capitalism or socialism, but in the 21st century, both of these options are being displaced by a third way called cronyism. Unlike a free market, cronyism involves the widespread collusion between government regulators and large private corporations. Using the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath as a current example, this course will explain the essential elements of cronyism and how to distinguish it from both free enterprise and socialism.
  • Myths and Realities of the Early Church (The Very Rev. Michael Butler - AU14) $1.99
    This course looks at the evidence, and at some of the doctrines and social practices of early Christianity that prompted and sustained the growth of the Faith in the first centuries (and are worth affirming in ours).
  • The Moral Case for Economic Growth (Dr. Ed Noell - AU14) $1.99
    Can economic growth be defended on a moral basis? Some critics claim that growth makes an economy less sensitive to the well-being of the poor and encourages consumption fed by a materialistic spirit. Yet in fact there is a moral case for growth tied to the Christian values of creativity and compassion for the poor.
  • Why Civilizations Die (David Goldman - AU14) $1.99
    This course explores historical precedents for civilizational decline, analyze current trends, and address the question: can the decline of the West be reversed?
  • Alexis de Tocqueville: Prophet of our Times (Dr. Kenneth Grasso - AU14) $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.
  • Biblical Theology of Law (Dr. Scott Hahn - AU14) $1.99
    In biblical religion, law derives from covenant; it is not an arbitrary imposition of power, but rather a reflection of God's fatherly wisdom and goodness. Scripture always presents law in covenantal terms, and these are foreign to the modern mindset, which privatizes religion and secularizes law. This course returns to the sources of law, long forgotten and misunderstood.
  • Catholic Social Teaching, Entrepreneurship and Development (Dr. Peter Heslam - AU14) $1.99
    What is the potential of Catholic Social Teaching, when applied to business, to increase human well-being? This course will consider how Catholic Social Teaching can help create the institutional, relational, moral and spiritual capital needed for business to thrive, to tackle poverty and to contribute to human flourishing.
  • Entrepreneurial Culture: How it Supports Innovation (Robert Luddy - AU14) $1.99
    Individuals who work for companies learn standards, practices, and protocols from schools, families, and work experience. The entrepreneurial culture however, requires individuals to move beyond convention which can be uncomfortable and very challenging. The winning entrepreneurial culture adopts useful conventions and creatively destroys those which are not efficient or focused on the future market. This course examines the spiritual and material conditions for building an innovative culture.
  • Social Consequences of the Welfare State (Dr. Anthony Bradley - AU14) $1.99
    This session examines the deleterious effects of the welfare state following social unrest. Social pathologies among the underclasses in the United States following the Civil-Rights Movement, and in Northern Ireland in the aftermath of The Troubles - are explored in light of the consequences of habituating the moral and social norms that undermine human flourishing.
  • The Economy of Israel in the Age of King Solomon (Very Rev. Patrick Henry Reardon - AU14) $1.99
    The introduction of iron in the Levant coincided with the rise of the monarchy in Israel at the beginning of the First Millennium. The consequent improvements in agriculture – which brought about a significant population explosion – combined with other technological and cultural developments, provided Solomon with the means to shift Israel’s economy from subsistence farming to international commerce. This massive development led to profound cultural and political changes in Israel, both good and bad. This lecture explores this period of biblical history, as it is very instructive for a general understanding of the relationship of finance, industry, and commerce to religious and literary culture.

Day 2 - June 19, 2014

  • Catholic Social Teaching 101 (Rev. Raymond DeSouza - AU14) $1.99
    This course 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.
  • Cultural Aesthetics in a Free Society (Dr. David Deavel - AU14) $1.99
    A free society depends on those who create value in a myriad of ways. This course examines why questions of beauty and culture should matter for advocates of a free society; what the limits of expression should be and who decides them; and whether it is necessary or advantageous for public authority to sponsor or promote esthetic elements of culture.
  • Islam 101 (Mustafa Akyol - AU14) $1.99
    This course explains the basic religious tenets of Islam, provides some background to their development, and then illustrates how they play out in the realms of politics, culture and economics.
  • John Wesley: Social Entrepreneur (Dr. Charles Self - AU14) $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.
  • Judaism and the Market Economy (Dr. Steven Grosby - AU14) $1.99
    Judaism presents the paradox of being associated with both progressive, state-directed economic policies and capitalism. In fact, while the Jewish tradition conveys an obligatory, charitable concern for one’s neighbor, it also clearly embodies positive views of private property.
  • Myths About the Market (Dr. Jay Richards - AU14) $1.99
    This lecture identifies the primary myths about the free economy, illustrates why those myths are false, and demonstrates why market economics often requires us to think counter intuitively.
  • On Reading and Living the Bible Well (Glenn Paauw - AU14) $1.99
    There are two foundational questions that can help us clarify our understanding of the Holy Scriptures: First, what is the Bible? And Second, what are we supposed to do with the Bible? This course identifies the core answers to these questions by addressing the character, form and content of the Bible. By learning to honor the character, receive the form, and engage the content of the Bible, God’s Church can rediscover the power of this gift of God that carries the words of life.
  • Poverty in the Developing World (Michael Matheson Miller - AU14) $1.99
    This session examines some of the causes of poverty in the developing world, critically analyzes current poverty alleviation strategies including aid and government planning, and focuses on private property, rule of law, markets, and culture for economic development.
  • Private Charity: A Practitioner's View (Rudy Carrasco - AU14) $1.99
    This lecture expands on the unique ability of private charity to address human need using local knowledge and resources unavailable and unsuited to public agencies, with specific attention to urban ministries.
  • The Family and the Market (Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse - AU14) $1.99
    This session examines the ways in which the market relies on the family, how the modern idea of sexual freedom is different from older ideas of freedom, and how market pressures on the family can be resolved or alleviated.
  • Calvin Coolidge and his Foundational Views on Government (Ray Nothstine - AU14) $1.99
    President Calvin Coolidge called the progressive scheme, “not more modern, but more ancient than those of the Revolutionary fathers.” This course provides an overview of Coolidge’s constitutional conservatism and his views about man and his relationship to the state. Nothstine pays special attention to the ideas and influences that shaped the 30th president, and the spiritual meaning behind his words.

  • Deficits and Debt (Dr. Samuel Gregg - AU14) $1.99
    High public sector deficits and high personal debt have become an economic way of life in many developed countries. This lecture explores the origins of these trends, their moral and economic effects, and how they might be reversed.
  • Mission Drift (Peter Greer - AU14) $1.99
    Without careful attention, faith-based organizations will inevitably drift from their founding purpose. This course looks at how to keep organizations, schools, churches, and ministries on track.
  • The End and Rise of Socialism (Dr. James Otteson - AU14) $1.99
    Some people believe that we must have some measure of capitalism because of various human failings, but that socialism would be morally preferable if only we could live up to its ideals. What are the moral ends socialism proposes, and how does it propose to achieve those ends?
  • Thomas Jefferson v. Alexander Hamilton (Dr. John Pinhiero - AU14) $1.99
    Jefferson and Hamilton represent the best known and broadest schools of American thought on how best to balance liberty with the need for order. This lecture explores the intellectual origins of their principles and attempts to determine what we might glean from each to help build a free and virtuous society.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Modern Critique of Modernity (Kishore Jayabalan - AU14) $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?
  • Christopher Dawson and the Dynamics of History (Dr. Bradley Birzer - AU14) $1.99
    Christopher Dawson was one of the most important unsung heroes of the twentieth century. Though he strongly influenced such diverse figures as T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis, few remember him. Still, he has much to offer, especially in our world of parallel radicalizations of both secularism and fundamentalism. This lecture examines Dawson’s fascinating life and the profundity of his historical, poetic, and anthropological thought.
  • Community and Economic Development (Justin Beene - AU14) $1.99
    Christians are called to both share God’s heart for the poor and to respond to poverty with effective compassion that brings holistic transformation. This seminar highlights principles of effective compassion being implemented by neighborhood-based urban ministries that are genuinely making a difference.
  • Economic Growth, The Rule of Law, and the Image of God (PJ Hill - AU14) $1.99
    The beginning of modern economic growth around 1800 in England and the Netherlands is one of the most important change-points in world history. This lecture explores the role played by the concept of the imago dei and consequently the rule of law in understanding this period of growth.
  • Envy and Its Discontents (Dr. Victor Claar - AU14) $1.99
    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 St. Thomas Aquinas's definition of envy as a starting point, and drawing both biblical examples and the most up-to-date research, this course examines the potentially corrosive role that envy may play in our relationships in a market economy, and critiques the idea of equality of economic outcomes from a moral and anthropological perspective.
  • Evangelicals and Social Justice (Dr. John Teevan - AU14) $1.99
    This course moves beyond popular misconceptions about social justice to see and explain its redistributionist roots in John Rawls, and helps students obtain a biblically integrated understanding of the economics of wealth creation and income distribution in the decades of globalization and inflation.
  • Free Market Thought: Austrian Economics (Lawrence Reed - AU14) $1.99
    In this course, Reed helps students to think about economics through the lens of individualism, subjective value and dynamic markets, focusing on the unique contributions of the Austrian school and its understanding of money and the business cycle.

  • How To Talk About Natural Law (Dr. J. Budziszewski - AU14) $1.99
    According to the classical natural law tradition, the foundational moral principles are not only right for everyone, but at some level known to everyone. One would think that would make them easy to talk about. Surprisingly, it doesn’t. How can we speak with skeptical neighbors, to whom even the law “written on the heart” seems too obscure?
  • Human Trafficking (Kim Biddle - AU14) $1.99
    Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world and more prevalent now than ever before in history. This course examines what the practice looks like in the United States, how it affects your personal and communal health, and what the root societal factors are that are driving the growth of this crime around the world.
  • Progressivism: Theory and Critique (Dr. Kevin Schmiesing - AU14) $1.99
    Progressivism is a diverse, international movement that arose in response to industrialization in Europe and North America. Concentrating especially on the United States, this lecture summarizes the principal ideas promoted by progressive intellectuals and examines their relationship to traditional Christian understandings of politics and society.

  • Property Rights in the Old Testament I (Dr. John Bergsma - AU14) $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.
  • Religious Liberty and the Entrepreneurial Economy (Dr. Greg Forster - AU14) $1.99
    Today’s threats to religious liberty have deep historical sources. The entrepreneurial economy and modern civilization began with an unprecedented expansion of religious freedom in the 18th century, and they continue to create openings for advancing that freedom. However, paradoxically, the basic principles of the entrepreneurial economy and modern civilization also create unique challenges for freedom of religion. This course explores the dangers and opportunities for religious liberty in our time.
  • The Economics of Caritas in Veritate (Rev. Raymond deSouza - AU14) $1.99
    Papal encyclicals are often controversial texts, but Benedict the Sixteenths’ 2009 Caritas in Veritate has proved to be the most discussed of his pontificate. This lecture explores some of the broader economic themes of the encyclical, highlighting their genesis in the thought and work of Joseph Ratzinger.
  • The Family and The State (Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse - AU14) $1.99
    What is Marriage as a Social Institution, and why do we need social institutions for such personal issues? What are the two "regimes" around child-bearing? Has the government been “neutral” with respect to the family? This session addresses these vital questions in today’s society.
  • Theology of Work (Dr. Scott Rae - AU14) $1.99
    Judaism and Christianity are unique in their appreciation of the significance of human work. This lecture presents human work from a theological standpoint, its place in redeeming man and the work, and its relationship to God’s work of creation.

Day 3 - June 20, 2014

  • Christianity and Postmodernity (John Stonestreet - AU14) $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. It also 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.
  • Cultural Critiques of Capitalism (Michael Matheson Miller - AU14) $1.99
    Global capitalism and globalization have been praised and 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.
  • Education and the Free Society (Dr. Todd Flanders - AU14) $1.99
    This course considers the role played by education in sustaining and defending free societies, and outlines the most prominent threats to such education and its likely future role in promoting freedom.
  • Islam, Markets and the Free Society (Mustafa Akyol - AU14) $1.99
    Is Islam compatible with free markets or does it promote collectivism? This course provides a brief overview of Islamic sources on the issue of economic freedom and an examination of the newly developing “Islamic capitalism.”
  • Marriage Makes the Man (Prof. W. Bradford Wilcox - AU14) $1.99
    The institution of marriage plays a central role in connecting men to the marketplace. Marriage motivates ordinary men to work harder, smarter, and more profitably. This lecture explains the economic benefits of marriage for men, and also details some of the social and psychological benefits of marriage for men.
  • Property Rights in the Old Testament II (Dr. John Bergsma - AU14) $1.99
    This course focuses on the important role that private property plays in the Old Testament after the Pentateuch, especially in relationship to family, kinship, and social cohesion. It examines 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.
  • Religious Liberty and the Challenges to Conscience (Prof. Gerard Bradley - AU14) $1.99
    In this lecture, Professor Bradley asserts that "Religious liberty" is an amalgam of moral duties and the right to religious liberty represents the space needed by people and communities to fulfill these obligations. He contrasts this view with the common understandings of religious liberty and religion in most western countries today.
  • The Enduring Allure of Karl Marx (Dr. James Otteson - AU14) $1.99
    One might think that with the collapse of socialist economies, Karl Marx’s writings would have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Yet Marx’s writings find their way into far more college syllabi than do those of, say, Adam Smith. Why is this, and what can Marx’s writings offer us today?
  • The Rise and Fall of the European Social Market (Dr. Samuel Gregg - AU14) $1.99
    After World War II, many West European governments implemented 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.
  • Theories of Inequality and Fairness: Affirmative Action (Dr. Anthony Bradley - AU14) $1.99
    This session explores the presuppositional frameworks that create the political divide between the right and the left in Western politics using the example of the affirmative action debate. Dr. Bradley explores competing notions of fairness as “fair play” versus “fair shares” in light of the basic norms of moral foundation theory.
  • Orthodoxy and Natural Law (Very Rev. Michael Butler - AU14) $1.99
    Eastern Orthodoxy has been ambivalent about natural law. This lecture considers how the natural law might work in distinctly Orthodox ways of thinking about the relationship between faith and reason, and considers some implications that might be useful today.
  • Whatever Happened to Bible Engagement? (Paul Caminti - AU14) $1.99
    This course surveys the current Bible landscape and follows up with a diagnosis of what the core breakdowns in Bible engagement are. Key barriers to reading and living the Bible well are identified, and strategies are suggested to help the Church live out its mission in the world fortified by the sustaining power of God’s Word.
  • Are the Poor 'Blessed' If we Make them Rich? (Dr. Peter Kreeft - AU14) $1.99
    Christianity is full of paradoxes, in practice as well as in doctrine. For instance, death is "the last enemy" yet it is our only hope, our door into Heaven. We are to fight for life and against our "culture of death," yet be detached from life and accept death when it comes, as God's will. Similarly, in economic morality, we are to be detached from riches, and the poor are "blessed," yet we are commanded to relieve their poverty. Why does this not mean that we are commanded to make them less blessed?
  • Free Market Thought: Public Choice Theory (Dr. P.J. Hill - AU14) $1.99
    As a school of economic thought, public choice theory is relatively new and has changed many perceptions of the nature of the state and government economic interventions. This lecture traces the background of public choice theory, its primary claims, and its most important insights.
  • Our Cultural Crisis: Restoring a Vision of the Permanent Things (Dr. Vigen Guroian - AU14) $1.99
    This course provides a discussion of the meaning of culture and the damage that advanced liberalism has done to our vision of it. What role has religion played in our culture, and how might religion contribute toward its renewal in the arts and literature and a revival of the moral imagination?
  • Partnership Based Community Development (Rev. Dr. Svetlana Papazov - AU14) $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 looks at how Christians can bridge this divide at the local level, and proposes a practical methodology for establishing church and community partnerships.
  • Religion, Social Trends and Demographics (Dr. Yuri Mantilla - AU 14) $1.99
    This course analyzes the applicability of fundamental Christian concepts of political theology and law to current justice issues, including economic development and the defense of the right to life. It also explains why the Christian understanding of freedom, evil, justice, law and order is the foundation to address justice issues and economic development, and why it is in the best interest of the Latino community, as the largest minority group in America, to embrace the Christian worldview of human dignity and free market economic policies.
  • Religious Liberty: The Dawn of the First Amendment (Dr. John Pinhiero) $1.99
    Recent federal statutes threaten to undermine religious liberty in the United States of America. This lecture explores the history leading up to and immediately following the addition of the First Amendment, with its religious liberty clauses, to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Second Thoughts: Newman on Political and Economic Liberty (Dr. David Deavel - AU14) $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.
  • The Austrian Tradition on Social and Economic Order (Jeffrey Tucker - AU14) $1.99
    It is conventional to think of social and economic order as something imposed from the top down, a pure extension of political will and a reflection of the political system. But the Austrian tradition offers a completely different explanation for how it is that we achieve social and economic coordination across a large span of time and place. Order emerges from within society itself through the choices of individuals and is coordinated by institutions such as prices, traditions, and organically developed norms. This class explores the views of Carl Menger, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises on the foundations of social and economic institutions.
  • The Social Teaching of John Paul II (Rev. Raymond deSouza - AU14) $1.99
    This course discusses the specific contributions of John Paul the Second to the development of Catholic social teaching, paying special attention to his treatment of economic subjects.
  • The Social Vision of Abraham Kuyper (Dr. Vincent Bacote - AU14) $1.99
    Abraham Kuyper was a true Christian Renaissance man whose life provides a great example of public Christianity that touches every area of life, sometimes in unexpected ways. This course examines what can we learn from his legacy and how we can develop it in ways that encourage flourishing in culture, society and the economic realm.
  • Tolkien and the Free Society (Dr. Jonathan Witt - AU14) $1.99
    J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels have sold as many as a quarter billion copies worldwide, and his literary stature has continued to grow since his death in 1973. While this has led to several penetrating studies of his work, what remains less well understood is how his Middle Earth fiction expresses his fierce commitment to limited government and conveys a wealth of insights into both political and economic freedom. This course serves as an introduction into this rich vein of inquiry, focusing primarily on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
  • Vocational Stewardship and Community Transformation (Dr. John Teevan - AU14) $1.99
    Christians are called to join Jesus on His mission of renewing all things. This course shows how believers are doing this effectively by stewarding their vocational power with intentionality, creativity, and strategic focus, and how their efforts are advancing foretastes of justice and shalom in and through their workplaces, industries, and communities.
  • Adam Smith, Markets, and Morality (Dr. James Otteson - AU14) $1.99
    Adam Smith’s work continues to shape the modern world today, but often in unexpected ways. This lecture considers how Smith conceptualized the relationship between the good life and the economy, and how this continues to be relevant in shaping discourse about the benefits and limits of markets today.
  • Business and the Common Good (Dr. Scott Rae - AU14) $1.99
    In the light of numerous charges of the destructive potential of business, particularly as a result of the financial crisis and its aftermath, this course examines the various ways that business contributes to the common good of society, and address both the need for profit and the mandate for service in answering the question, "What's a Business For?"
  • Distributism: Theory and Critique (Dr. Todd Flanders - AU14) $1.99
    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.

  • Economic Justice in the Old Testament (Dr. John Bergsma - AU14) $1.99
    This course explores the understudied social aspect of Old Testament legislation that sought to promote well-being throughout the community. The focus here is on key economic issues related to gleaning, just weights and measures, property ownership and responsibility, and the rights of widows, orphans, and sojourners.
  • Bad Religion (Ross Douthat - AU14) $1.99
    Based on his best-selling book of the same title, this course offers a brief historical survey that moves from the 1950s to the present examining the relationship between Christianity and culture in America. It specifically looks at how “bad religion” has crippled the country’s ability to confront our most pressing challenges and has accelerated American decline.
  • History of Political Economy (Dr. Chad Brand - AU14) $1.99
    "Political economy" is the phrase that is used to indicate the relationship between the governing ideology of a state and its economic system and productivity. Originally, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it just meant what we now mean by "economics." This lecture traces that history.
  • Latin America: New Pathways of Development (Anielka Munkel - AU14) $1.99
    This course explores the current situation in Latin America and discusses the obstacles to development and a number of conditions required for increased prosperity in the region.
  • Marketplace as Social Shalom (Dr. Anthony Bradley - AU14) $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 the poor and bring peace.
  • Stewardship 101 (Dr. Kent Wilson - AU14) $1.99
    This session introduces key biblical and theological themes that inform the concept of stewardship, discusses contemporary misunderstandings, and examines the significance that a robust view of stewardship plays in safeguarding a culture's moral economy.

  • The Church and Modern Civilization (Dr. Greg Forster - AU14) $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. This course explores the challenges and opportunities created by modern intellectual, political, economic and religious structures.
  • The Foundations of Natural Law (Dr. J. Budziszewski - AU14) $1.99
    What does it mean to say that there is a natural moral law and what difference does it make? Is it really natural? Is it really law? What does it tell us, and how has our world lost sight of it? This course discusses the foundations of the natural law tradition, its modern demise, and its contemporary renaissance.
  • "Get Your Hands Dirty" (Dr. Jordan Ballor - AU14) $1.99
    Martin Luther once wrote, “As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin.” A common refrain from economists is that there are no solutions, only tradeoffs. This session explores the ambiguities of Christian social action within the limits of human finitude, corruption, and sin, and explores how the Christian doctrine of vocation encourages each one of us to “get our hands dirty” in the difficulties of this world.
  • Benedict XVI and the Crisis of Europe (Dr. Samuel Gregg - AU14) $1.99
    This course outlines Benedict’s diagnosis of Europe’s contemporary crisis of identity, clarifies his proposals for European renewal, and assesses the chances of realizing this vision.
  • Can Business and Religion Get Along? Evidence from History (Dr. Kevin Schmiesing AU14) $1.99
    Trade and religion are both nearly universal features of human experience. This lecture summarizes the history of this interaction between commerce and Christianity, offers illustrative anek-dotes from the past, and reflects on the significance of these historical experiences for contemporary concerns about the integration of faith and economic life.

  • Good, True, and Beautiful: C.S. Lewis (Dr. Peter Kreeft - AU14) $1.99
    Dr. Peter Kreeft delivers a lecture on the storytelling of C.S. Lewis at Acton University 2014.
  • John Locke and Christian Teaching on Property (Kishore Jayabalan - AU14) $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.
  • Moral Imagination (Michael Matheson Miller - AU14) $1.99
    Edmund Burke wrote of the importance of the "moral imagination" not only for a healthy political and social order but for human flourishing.  This course examines the idea of "moral imagination" with reference to thinkers like Burke, Russell Kirk, CS Lewis and others, and suggest several steps for educating and the building up the moral imagination.
  • Statesman: The Thought of Leo XIII (Rev. Raymond deSouza - AU14) $1.99
    Leo the Thirteenth 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.
  • Statism in Poor Countries: A Field Guide (Dr. Stephen Smith - AU14) $1.99
    State-centered, state-directed economic policies are the default choice in most poor countries. To a far larger extent than most outside observers imagine—or can easily discern—heavy state intervention is the norm, from state ownership of banks to back-breaking taxation of agriculture. This course surveys typical statist institutions, and considers questions such as: What are statism’s long-term consequences? What does it imply for promoting entrepreneurship and a healthy business culture? How does it complicate market-oriented reforms and private Christian development assistance?
  • The Economics of Mutuality (Dr. Steven Garber - AU14) $1.99
    At its core “the economics of mutuality” is a critique of the hyper-individualism and corporate myopia of Milton Friedman’s University of Chicago “school,” which is summed up by these words, “The sole purpose of business is to maximize shareholder profit.” Most of the time in most places that is the way of the world. And with that rule, some do make fortunes, making a “killing” as they say, and the rest of us have to pay for years and years to come. This lecture explores the interaction between vocation, meaning, and ethics.
  • The Family Foundations of the American Dream (Prof. W. Bradford Wilcox - AU14) $1.99
    The viability of the American Dream depends in part upon strong families. Children are more likely to succeed in school, and, as adults, at work when they hail from intact, married families and from communities where the family is strong. This lecture explains why children from strong families are more likely to realize the American Dream.
  • Worship or Participation: The Role of Religion in Public Life (John Stonestreet - AU14) $1.99
    Listening to pundits, one might conclude that there are only two options for religion in the public square. Either it must be a “naked” public square where religious expression is restricted to personal belief and private gatherings, or it is a theocratic state where everyone’s behavior must conform whether they share belief or not. This course explores other options, with the goal that our arguments and engagements in the public square be marked by an informed winsomeness rather than shrill imposition or fearful withdrawal.