This summer, I posted a link to the Acton Institute‘s Calihan Fellowship on the ESN Facebook PageÂ without really thinking much besides, “Oh, here’s some grant money for someone out there.” I never expected that it would lead to the most vigorous conversation to date on our Facebook Page, ranging from disagreements about the Acton Institute in particular to broader issues of politics, academia, and theology. This certainly caught my attention, since ESN, in general, doesn’t host all that many internal controversies.Â Jordan J. Ballor, Research Fellow with the Acton Institute and Executive Editor of their Journal of Markets & Morality, also noticed the online conversation, and, with Tom Grosh’s help, he and I were able to connect and set up this Q&A with him about the Acton Institute.
Free subscription:Â Additionally, Jordan has generously offered a 2-year complimentary digital subscription to the Journal of Markets & Morality for student members of ESN and student readers of the ESN blog. To take advantage of this offer, email Assistant Editor Dylan PahmanÂ to set up your online account, which also includes access to the two most recent issues.
Thank you to Jordan for Â his time and willingness to correspond.
Mike Hickerson: How did you come to be involved with the Acton Institute?
Jordan Ballor: I was introduced to Acton through one of the programs for future religious leaders during my time as a student at Calvin Theological Seminary. I attended a â€œToward a Free & Virtuous Societyâ€ conference in Techny, Illinois, in 2002. These â€œTFAVS,â€ as they are called in the office, are intensive weekends of 15-20 seminarians and graduate students, introducing them to the relationship between economics and faith. Upon my return to Grand Rapids, I realized that this was precisely the sort of place that I wanted to work, so I applied for an internship at Acton. It was a good fit for me, in part because I was focusing on an academic career in theology rather than a pastoral calling, so I was looking for a place that I could do write and do research. After some time as an intern, I took on a regular part-time position as I continued graduate study, and eventually took a full-time position last June (2010) as research fellow and executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality.Â [Read more…] about Q&A with Acton Institute’s Jordan Ballor (and a Free Subscription)