This issue of Religion & Liberty offers perhaps a more international perspective than past issues, and that is beneficial since we live in a very globalized society today. We are fortunate to offer an interview with Mustafa Akyol, who spoke at last summer's Acton University. Akyol, a critic of Islamic extremism and Turkish secularism, is also a defender of free markets and the positive role Islam can play in a democratic society with a greater interest in economic freedom.
Hunter Baker offers an excellent analysis of the political marriage or cooperation of social conservatives and libertarians. Baker offers a broad history of the relationship while suggesting "the points of connection, notwithstanding messy public blow-ups like the [Mike] Huckabee/ Club for Growth affair, are much stronger than the forces pulling the two groups apart." This is an important piece amid recent talk about the struggles of American conservatism and its ability to achieve a broad base of support needed for a governing majority. Some critics have even rushed to predict the demise of free markets and conservatism because of troubled financial markets and a lack of prudence from financial leaders. Baker currently believes social conservatives and libertarians have "little natural tendency to trust each other," while also noting the suspicion of power will continue to unite the two groups towards common goals.
Acton's Ray Nothstine reviews Kenneth J. Collins's book The Theology of John Wesley. Wesley was an English Anglican cleric who launched an evangelical revival, resulting in the founding and growth of Methodism worldwide. The book is an overview of Wesley's theology, and also engages some important contemporary issues in the church and state.
Paola Fantini reviews Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's The Ethics of the Common Good in the Social Doctrine of the Church. Fantini has also translated the prologue to the book by Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Kirill, and an excerpt from that appears in this issue. It is notable that her work is the first review and translation of any kind to appear in English. Fantini is an intern in the Rome office of the Acton Institute, and we are indebted for her contribution.
Other highlights include Rev. Robert Sirico's column "Mistaken Faiths of Our Age" and In the Liberal Tradition's profile of Wilhelm Röpke. They are worth mentioning because they call us to return to the core message of the Acton Institute: a free society, the dangers of collectivism, the need for strong ethics infused in the marketplace, and most importantly, the relationship of man and his Creator.
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