In order to discuss and promote an understanding of the relationship between religious liberty and economic freedom among present and future leaders around the world, the Acton Institute has held four sessions out of a five-part international conference series titled, “One and Indivisible? The Relationship Between Religious and Economic Freedom.”
The Roman Catholic conception of religious liberty as specified in the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, is one of the most significant developments in Catholic doctrine in modern times. It has great potential for strengthening the moral and legal case for religious freedom around the world. This document provides the theological underpinnings for the conference series.
Many studies have emerged about the correlation between political and economic freedom. The complex relationship between faith, religious liberty and economic freedom, however, remains relatively unexplored by clergy, theologians, social scientists and economists.
By bringing attention to the important and complex relationship between religious liberty and economic freedom, Acton hopes to stimulate deeper reflection about the ways in which these two forms of freedom can support each other and thereby magnify a broader understanding of freedom more generally.
The first of these conferences, “Faith, State, and the Economy: Perspectives from East and West,” was held in Rome in April 2014. In November 2014, the conference “The Relationship Between Religious and Economic Liberty in an Age of Expanding Government” was held in Washington. Two more conferences were held in 2015, one in Buenos Aires in the spring and the other in Jerusalem in the fall. They were titled, respectively, “Christianity and the Foundations of a Free Society: Religious, Political and Economic Freedom” and “Judaism, Christianity and the West: Building and Preserving the Institutions of Freedom.” The final conference of this series will be held in April 2016 in Rome and is titled, “Freedom With Justice: Rerum Novarum and the New Things of Our Time.” Please visit www.acton.org/program/religious_liberty/home for more information.