Lord Acton, Liberty, Conscience, and the Social Order

Day 4
Session 10
12:00 PM

An introduction to the life of Lord Acton, his major ideas, and his continuing legacy. Addresses the relationship between Acton's methodology as a historian, commitment to freedom as a politician, and devotion of conscience as a Christian. Topics considered include the importance of ideas, freedom, virtue, religion, and economics.


Recommended Readings

Acton, John D. Lord Acton: Historical and Moral Essays. Edited by Daniel J. Hugger.

  • A collection of Lord Acton’s most important historical and moral essays introducing readers to his ideas on liberty. Includes an introduction providing historical context, outlining major themes, and making the case for Acton’s continuing relevance today.

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics.

  • One of those rare and beautifully written biographies that gets right to the core of its subject. Himmelfarb digs deep into Lord Acton’s notes, correspondence, and public writings, providing an illuminating portrait of Acton the historian, Catholic, and classical liberal.

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