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Grand Rapids, Mich. (Jan. 12, 2002) – The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty announces the publication of The Soul of Liberty , a wide-ranging discussion of the relationship between freedom and faith by Fr. Robert Sirico, founder and president of the institute. The 53-page book grew out of a series of interviews conducted in Rome by Flavio Felice, lecturer in philosophy at the Pontificia Universita Lateranense. The Soul of Liberty provides an insight into the thinking that inspires much of the work of the Acton Institute. Among the topics discussed: the tradition of individual freedom in Jewish history and Christianity, the role that religion played in the collapse of Communism, the place of the market and business in a Christian vision of humanity, and the biblical view of the environment.

“A society must have a sense of direction,” Fr. Sirico says in the book. “The question is, whether this sense of direction is owed to moral formation, self-governance, internal spiritual discipline, and a right intellectual understanding of the human person, or whether this sense of direction is going to be imposed from the outside via political constraints. There must be some set of customs and rules that govern society. We must choose whether the State or society is going to be the source of those rules. This is the fundamental choice between freedom and despotism.”

The Soul of Liberty is available for $5 through the Acton Book Shoppe ( ).

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at