Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Summer Seminar Series: Acton Institute's Toward A Free and Virtuous Society

My Summer Seminar Series comes to a close. This was my last seminar to attend; a three day event with classes all day surrounded by many like minded individuals. Yes, it can be said about any of the seminars I had attended this past summer, but the difference with the Acton Institute is the topic of religion. Yes, the Acton Institute is Christian institution who uphold free market values.
Their mission:
The Mission of the Acton Institute is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.
The event I had went to was in West Cornwall, Ct. A beautiful area in western Connecticut roughly two hours north of Irvington-on-Hudson, NY where FEE takes its residency. I had taken the drive from DC with a Polish friend I had met at CATO University earlier in the summer. The drive takes half a day, but after you get off the highway and into rural NY and CT, you will enjoy it immensely. This is where I had found myself for three days. In a small town, with a gorgeous residence that housed religious retreats. Their was a small chapel for daily mass, and a larger building within walking distance for lectures. The environment is wonderful and peaceful. Your cell phone does not get a decent signal, but the discussions just as most of the events before are sensational. CLICK READ MORE for the rest...

For those who are unaware, I had joined in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church last Easter in 2007 and quickly found myself in arguments between the free market and what is so called Social Teaching. I give a great deal of credit to individuals with me in my RCIA class especially to a few Graduate Students who helped guide me when questions arose. Yet it was a triumphant day when I had found an institution wanting to clarify the problem I was encountering. This institution is for all the religious minded individuals who seek the truth of liberty. They define themselves in the about us page on their website as:

The Acton Institute organizes seminars aimed at educating religious leaders of all denominations, business executives, entrepreneurs, university professors, and academic researchers in economics principles, and in the connection that can exist between virtue and economic thinking. We exhort religious leaders to embrace the principles of economics as analytic tools in the consideration of economic issues that arise in their ministry, on the one hand, and, on the other, we exhort business executives and entrepreneurs, to integrate their faith more fully into their professional lives, to give of themselves more unselfishly in their communities, and to strive after higher standards of ethical conduct in their work.

I may have my own disagreements with things I was taught at Acton, but there can mainly only be good things said. It is a pleasant place environment with no harsh arguments that are otherwise found in other seminars between disagreeing attendees. Rather everyone is open minded and there for the sole purpose of learning how to lead our society to be come Free and Virtuous. If you are interested in ethics, economics, and liberty then definitely go even if you do not have a great opinion for the religious side. The philosophy applied to religion is a great help in understanding the principle of freedom and thus the philosophy for the free market.

For a longer event with the Acton Institute, check out Acton University where you can even pick the classes you wish to attend.

For Toward a Free and Virtuous Society I rate it a 3.5 out of 5. A great time; a little too short and not enough time for the great arguments to arise. As a note: the event is short so only graduates and upperclass undergraduates are allowed to attend which adds to the environment since you do not have the few who are there only to get away from home and have a good time.
The Church, Freedom, and Economics... What else could someone like me want?

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