Explore the intellectual basis of the free economy; discover why this cannot be separated from a culture of beauty and Catholic social teaching if we want a society that promotes the flourishing of the human person.
Once again, I am going to encourage everybody to think about attending ‘Acton University‘ . This is a residential course that takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The dates are June 17-20.
The Acton Institute is an organisation devoted to the promotion of a free and virtuous society. Each person attending must sign up for a an integrated series of lectures so that each builds on the last. It is cleverly worked out so that the first lecture you choose restricts your choice for the second and so on. It can be repeated year after year, so that each time you go you deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Free Economy. The Free Economy was defined by John Paul II ‘an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector’. This is the form of capitalism that he affirmed as being consistent with the Catholic social teaching and the Catholic understanding of freedom. He went as far as saying that this is the economic system also that is the ‘the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress’. (both quotes are from Centesimus Annus, 42)
Acton itself is ecumenical, but it is carefully designed so that as a Catholic I can choose courses that focus on Catholic social teaching or are consistent with it. As well as obvious courses such as a basic introduction to economics, they insist that everybody attends a class, for exampe, on Christian anthropology (brilliantly taught by Sam Gregg) and offer elective topics such as the theology of Benedict XVI, public policy, globalization, and the environment. What impressed me is that far from being the detached libertarians unconcerned with morality that some had portrayed them as, they were all profoundly interested in the poor and the foundations of a good and moral society. Furthermore, and again this goes against the way they were characterised, they were extremely interested in promoting a culture of beauty and seeing how (Read More)