At the heart of every religion, society, and institution is a vision of the human person. This vision is fundamental to reasoning about the common good. The human person—created in the image of God, individually unique and rational—has moral agency and is thus, in some respects, a co-creator. Accordingly, they possesses intrinsic value and dignity, implying certain rights and duties both for themselves and other persons. This vision of free and responsible individuals is revealed to us in revelation but is also discernable through reason. An essential component of the Acton Institute’s mission is to communicate both sorts of arguments, drawing on religious tradition as well as reason to make the case for the dignity of the human person.
One of the forums where we have built this case over the years is Acton University. In this issue, we discuss Acton University Online 2021—an event we believe will build on the success of last year’s online Acton University, which engaged thousands around the globe in the ideas essential to a free and virtuous society. There is also a brief profile of an alumnus of Acton University, Jorge Valarde Rosso, who has impressively put those ideas to work in his native Bolivia by founding a think tank called LIBERA.
It is also a pleasure to share news of our Acton Lecture Series event in which Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas, addressed the life of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his fight against propaganda using art. These events now have a worldwide audience, and we encourage you to participate virtually wherever you may be physically. And, if you would like to view videos from previous Acton Lecture Series events, please visit our official YouTube page, youtube.com/actoninstitute.
None of this would be possible without the generous support of our donors. Thank you! Your support is more important than ever in these difficult times. If you are just learning about Acton, be sure to check out our website, and please prayerfully consider supporting us in our mission.