Skip to main content


In this episode, we are bringing you a conversation with Stephanie Slade, the managing editor of Reason Magazine, and Eric Kohn, the director of communications here at Acton. In this episode they discuss the philosophy of fusionism. 

Slade writes that Fusionism is the marriage of two value sets: liberty & virtue. “Liberty - in the classical sense of freedom from aggression, coercion, and fraud; and virtue - in the Judeo-Christian sense of submission to God's commands.” In this unifying value set, we can see fusionism as a “distinct philosophical orientation unto itself.”

Rather than a tug of war between two philosophies which we see played out today, fusionism introduces the idea that liberty and virtue should have never been separated. With Fusionism, we see this unbreakable bond between these two philosophies. Thus people can freely choose to live out their individual rights and freely live out the teachings of Christianity.

The founding fathers believed that virtue and liberty were, according to Slade, “Mutually reinforcing—and that neither could survive long without the other. A free society depends on a virtuous populace.”

The question we explore in this episode is this: If a free society requires morality, how do we live virtuously in an age that rejects it? 

Stephanie Slade - Reason Magazine

Is There a Future for Fusionism? - Stephanie Slade

The Future of Fusionism - Jordan Ballor

Fusionism and Western Civ - Jordan Ballor

Free marketers should take social conservatives’ concerns more seriously - Sam Gregg

The Conservative Fight over the Size of Government - Sam Gregg

Will-to-power conservatism with Stephanie Slade - Acton Line

Subscribe to Acton Institute Events podcast