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Acton Monographs on Social and Economic Morality (10 vols.)
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Overview

What can everyday Christians do about poverty? How do we face the political and social-justice turmoils of first-world nations? These 10 volumes on morality in economic and social theory deliver timely classic insight on Christian perspectives in economic policy, job creation, corporate ethics, and free-market principles.

These concise expositions on economics, social justice, and policy delve into the Christian role in shaping the socio-economic world—especially in the midst of financial crisis. Drawing from classical theorists and fundamental Christian theology, these digital monographs consider the effectiveness, sustainability, and morality of contemporary economic solutions and trends, giving Christians invaluable insight to the daily economic and political choices before them.

The Logos edition of these works connects the ideas in your library together. Along with your guides, look-up tools, and cross-referencing system, these books will provide valuable information when you need it most.

Key Features

  • Ten volumes from leading professors and economics researchers
  • International perspectives on Christian economic principles
  • Important modern scholarship that engages both the mind and the heart

Individual Titles

Providence and Liberty

  • Author: Frédérick Bastiat
  • Editor: Raoul Audouin
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 89

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Translated and edited by Raoul Audouin, Providence and Liberty takes Frédérick Bastiat’s writings and presents them in a brilliant synthesis of Christianity and economic liberty. These philosophically enlightening extracts deliver key ideas on liberty, economic philosophy, and faith. Taken from his essays, letters, and famous writings (such as Economic Sophisms, Economic Harmonies, and The Law), these important economic excerpts speak directly about today’s turbulent economic conditions.

Readers of The Law know that Bastiat was a devoutly religious man. Nowhere is this more evident than in Providence and Liberty. . . . This volume is an exciting and long overdue contribution to the limited amount of Bastiat’s writings that are available in English. . . . This little book will introduce the reader to a rare and wonderful human being who has brilliant insights into the necessary connection between Christianity and liberty. Those who are already fans of Bastiat will find that this book adds another dimension to their appreciation, those who read and reread The Law will find this a perfect companion volume.

—Edmund Opitz, Congregationalist minister

Frédérick Bastiat (1801–1850) was a French political economist and classical liberal theorist. Born in Bayonne in southern France, he worked in his family’s export business after finishing school at 17. Despite longing to further his education, time and time again circumstances denied him the opportunity. After the middle-class revolution in France in 1830, Bastiat became politically active and gradually rose in political prominence before, during, and after the second French Revolution. His life was cut short in 1850 by tuberculosis.

Toward a Free and Virtuous Society

  • Author: Robert A. Sirico
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 30

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Both freedom and virtue are under serious assault today . . . At this critical time, some supporters of either liberty or virtue are setting the two against each other, treating them as frequent antagonists, if not permanent opponents.

According to Robert Sirico, liberty—the right to exercise free choice, free from coercive state regulation—is a necessary precondition for virtue. And virtue is ultimately necessary for the survival of liberty. Anyone interested in building a good society should desire to live in a community that cherishes both values. As Sirico points out, “common sense tells any sane person that a society that is both free and virtuous is the place in which he or she would most want to live.”

Robert A. Sirico received his MDiv from the Catholic University of America, following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training students of religious studies receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today’s social problems. As a result of these concerns, Father Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.

As president of the Acton Institute, Father Sirico lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Father Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS’ 60 Minutes, among others.

Banking, Justice, and the Common Good

  • Author: Samuel Gregg
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 86

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The art of creating, managing, loaning, and investing money has always been fraught with moral hazards. Unfortunately, the widespread habit of viewing banking in a less-than-positive light has contributed to the misunderstanding of a human activity that not only contributes to human prosperity, but also creates a sphere of endeaver in which people can genuinely pursue virtue.

In popular fiction and the mass media, banking is commonly portrayed as dominated by selfish individuals with no interest in others beyond how they can be exploited. Undoubtedly, some people working in banking do behave in such a manner. The business of banking would, however, surely grind to a halt if this were normal practice.

Banking, like any other lawful commercial activity, involves people forming relationships. These relationships are normally with different objectives in mind, but nonetheless they are the fruit of lasting associations formed between one or more individuals. Most of the relationships formed through banking are concerned with people making decisions about the use of their own or others’ property. While the term property normally refers to a part of the material world that someone occupies or uses, property should be understood here as referring not only to land, what is permanently attached to it, and other goods, but also to money and whatever it can buy, including claims to services, entities such as insurance policies, and certificates for stock. These principles and ideas, explored by Samuel Gregg, lay a groundwork for understanding the practices of the banking world from a socio-theological Christian perspective.

Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He has an MA in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford, where he worked under the supervision of professor John Finnis.

Catholicism’s Developing Social Teaching

  • Author: Robert A. Sirico
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 47

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

From its beginnings, the Catholic Church’s moral teaching has always had a social dimension. As the centuries have passed, this teaching has developed as the Church has deepened its knowledge of the truth of the Gospel, while simultaneously taking account of social, political, and economic changes in the world.

In this monograph, Robert A. Sirico examines the development of Catholic social teaching following Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical, Rerum Novarum, and considers the manner in which Catholics in the United States assimilated its teaching. In doing so, he brings to light many little known facts about these developments that should encourage renewed reflection upon this tumultuous period in the Church’s history.

Robert A. Sirico received his MDiv from the Catholic University of America, following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training students of religious studies receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today’s social problems. As a result of these concerns, Father Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.

As president of the Acton Institute, Father Sirico lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Father Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS’ 60 Minutes, among others.

Judaism, Markets, and Capitalism

  • Authors: Corinne Sauer and Robert Sauer
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 30

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Why is it that American Jews suffer from (or perhaps enjoy) a particularly acute case of champagne socialism? The most popular answer to this difficult question involves the impact of Judaism on the belief system of American Jews, as well as Judaism’s emphasis on aggressively pursuing social justice. According to the publisher, the conventional wisdom is that Judaism motivates Jews to be highly educated and to succeed professionally but to fervently support relatively collectivist social policies and other forms of aggressive government intervention for shaping an ideal society.

Corinne and Robert Sauer, co-founders of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, contend that “it is not at all true that Judaism is a set of principles that endorses income redistribution and other progressive social programs.” Instead, they say, Judaism is a system of thought that more naturally aligns itself with the basic principles of economic liberalism.

Corinne Sauer is co-founder and director of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS). Ms. Sauer earned an MA in economics at the University of Aix-Marseille III in 1987 and was an Austrian Economics fellow in the economics PhD program at New York University during the years 1988–1990. Throughout the 1990s, and prior to forming JIMS in Israel, Ms. Sauer was a senior economic consultant for Integral Research, Inc., a consulting firm in New York City.

Robert M. Sauer is chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and founding president of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS), an economic policy think-tank located in Israel. Professor Sauer has also taught economics in the United States at Brown University and in Israel at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Sauer has published articles in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

A Biblical Case for Natural Law

  • Author: David VanDrunen
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 59

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Are you perplexed about the biblical understanding of natural law? This study offers an explicitly biblical defense for the existence and practical importance of natural law. If natural law is taught in Scripture, it should certainly be affirmed in Christian theology.

Anyone who is familiar with the debate over natural law in Protestant theological ethics has likely heard it said: “The Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura and the Roman Catholic teaching on natural law are fundamentally opposed.” According to the proponents of this view, natural law is a set of ethical imperatives drawn from human nature and known through reason and it differs thereby from any form of supernaturally revealed legal or moral instruction. While the opponents of natural law reference several lines of theological arguments to develop their case, perhaps the argument most frequently encountered in Protestant circles is that natural law makes God and Scripture irrelevant to moral knowledge. If that is the most common Protestant criticism of natural law, the second most common is that natural law turns a blind eye to the effects of sin on reason and human nature. When combined, these two criticisms constitute the standard Protestant objection to natural law.

David VanDrunen guides readers to a better understanding of a Protestant view of natural law, built on biblical principles, that stands strong despite these arguments.

David VanDrunen (JD, Northwestern University School of Law; PhD, Loyola University Chicago) is the Robert B. Strimple Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminister Seminary California. An ordained minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and a licensed attorney, he is the 2004 recipient of the Acton Institute’s Novak Award.

Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution

  • Author: Victor V. Claar
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 65

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Fair trade is an enormously popular idea in Christian and secular circles alike. Who, after all, could be against fairness? Victor V. Claar, however, raises significant economic and moral questions about both the logic and economic reasoning underlying the fair trade movement. In this monograph, Claar suggests that, for all its good intentions, fair trade may not be of particular service to the poor, especially in the developing world.

Victor V. Claar is a professor of economics at Henderson, the public liberal arts university of Arkansas, where he specializes in teaching principles of economics courses. He holds two graduate degrees in economics (MA and PhD) from West Virginia University. Prior to arriving at Henderson, he taught for nine years at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. At Henderson, he also serves on the graduate faculty as well as the faculty of the Honors College.

Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

  • Author: Robert A. Sirico
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 129

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

A fair and honest debate about religious responses to environmental issues should always distinguish theological principles from prudential judgments.

The Cornwall Declaration and the accompanying essays in this volume were written to do just that. They were not written to provide theological rationale for current environmentalist fashion. Rather, they seek to articulate the broad Judeo-Christian theological principles concerning the environment, and to distinguish those principles from contrary ideas popular in the environmental movement.

Robert A. Sirico received his MDiv from the Catholic University of America, following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training students of religious studies receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today’s social problems. As a result of these concerns, Father Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.

As president of the Acton Institute, Father Sirico lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Father Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS’ 60 Minutes, among others.

Globalization, Poverty, and International Development

  • Author: Brian Griffiths
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 57

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, few subjects arouse more passions that the topic of globalization. This is especially true among the different Christian churches and confessions across the globe. Oddly enough, many Christians do not approach the question of globalization through a theological lens. Instead, many of the debates among Christians about the nature and effects of globalization are often pale versions of discussions already occurring among very secular-minded intellectuals and scholars, and sometimes are indistinguishable in tone and emphasis from the anti-globalization rhetoric emanating from much of the political left and political right.

The origins, nature, and implications of globalization—especially for developing countries—are often misunderstood. In this monograph, Lord Brian Griffiths examines the theory and practice of globalization, and underlines its positive influences on wealth-creation and its success in raising millions out of poverty. Griffiths warns, however, that the benefits of globalization are predicated on the culture that it reflects, and urges Christians to work to ensure that globalization reflects the principles of Christian anthropology rather than narrowly secularist alternatives.

Lord Baron Brian Griffiths of Fforestfach has been an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs International Ltd., and House of Lords, United Kingdom, an investment banking firm since 1991. Lord Griffiths was made a life peer at the conclusion of his service to the British Prime Minister during the period 1985 to 1990. Lord Griffiths serves as a director of Times Newspapers Holding Ltd., a newspaper company; and director of DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd. (formerly, English, Welsh & Scottish Railways Ltd.), a railroad company. Lord Griffiths served as a director of Herman Miller, Inc., until October 10, 2011. He served as director of The ServiceMaster Company, from 1992 to July 24, 2007.

Judaism, Law, and the Free Market: An Analysis

  • Author: Joseph Isaac Lifshitz
  • Publisher: Acton
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 142

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

As one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, Judaism has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about human affairs over several millennia. Whether it is in the Oral Torah, the Talmud, or the commentaries written by the great twelfth-century Jewish Rabbi, philosopher, jurist, and physician Moses ben Maimon (otherwise known as Maimonides), there are few areas of human endeavor that Jewish religious thinkers have not thoroughly explored as part of their effort to understand the truth about the divine and its implications for the things of this terrestrial world.

Although Judaism did not produce explicit economic texts as we are used to thinking about such things today, Jewish religious figures—especially those spelling out the meaning of the Law for issues touching on property, exchange, economic justice, and the duties associated with charity—did examine in some detail how the tenets of Jewish belief, especially as expressed in Jewish legal thought, applied to activities such as commerce. Closer examination of these questions soon reveals that the contemporary tendency to identify the economic implications of Judaism with modern social democratic principles and priorities is, at least historically and theologically speaking, somewhat difficult to reconcile with many sources of Jewish tradition.

Judaism and Jewish religious, legal, and moral principles are often regarded as translating into support for broadly social democratic economic positions. Looking, however, at the Jewish treatment of themes such as property rights, social welfare, charity, generosity, competition, and concepts of order, Joseph Isaac Lifshitz demonstrates that Judaism’s view of the market is more complicated—and favorable—than most people suppose.

Joseph Isaac Lifshitz is a senior fellow in the Shalem Center in the Department of Philosophy, Political Theory, and Religion. He studied at the Hebron Yeshiva and received his PhD in Jewish thought from Tel Aviv University. His areas of research include Jewish philosophy, Talmud, Jewish law, Jewish history, and political theory. In his study of Jewish philosophy and history, his main focus is on the philosophy and history of Ashkenaz in the High Middle Ages. He is also a Rabbi of a community in Jerusalem.

Product Details

  • Title: Acton Monographs on Social and Economic Morality
  • Publisher: Acton Institute
  • Volumes: 10
  • Pages: 734