Values & Capitalism is now AEI’s Initiative on Faith and Public Life. Click here to learn more about our mission and new name.

Initiative on
Faith & Public Life

Equipping Christians to think deeply about faithful participation in contemporary public life.

aei-logoAn initiative of the American Enterprise Institute, formerly known as Values & Capitalism


Our core audience is undergraduate students who are interested in exploring questions of politics, public policy, economics, business, and society in a way that is integrated with the convictions of their faith. Covering a variety of topics and taking

place throughout the year, our programs give students the opportunity to engage in serious, nonpartisan dialogue with experts and peers on pressing issues, and be prepared for their future careers and vocations. Featured programs are listed below.


Sign up to learn more about our programs.


Since 2012, the Initiative on Faith & Public Life has built a community of leading Christian college professors who are interested in the intersection of faith, politics, economics, and society and share a commitment to equipping future leaders. There are currently over 300 professors in our network, representing institutions (both religious and secular) across the country and world.

Our Academic Network members form a real intellectual community of faculty who encourage and challenge each other. They also help our team recruit students, facilitate events on their campuses, and receive access to complimentary books and other resources, as well as occasional invitations to faculty-only seminars and conferences.



On the Correlation of Capitalism and Christianity

On the Correlation of Capitalism and Christianity

“He that will not work shall not eat.” With these famous words pulled from 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Capt. John Smith uttered a phrase that both saved Jamestown and breathed a capitalistic nature into the very fabric of American society. Nearly 300 years later, German theologian Max Weber would ascribe the rise of capitalism to the Protestant work ethic, combined with the Calvinist doctrine of asceticism and predestination. Since the dawn of America, from the original pilgrims and colonists to the Founding Fathers and subsequent presidents, American civil society has generally coupled the economic system of capitalism with the moral system of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Although many of the Founding Fathers were deists, almost all understood an economic system of industriousness and elbow grease as a morally superior paradigm.

Click of a Button: Implications of a Twittering President

Click of a Button: Implications of a Twittering President

Holding the highest office in the United States of America can be the loneliest of positions. It certainly is a role that no one can relate to. That’s why communication is key for our presidents. It’s fascinating to dig through old documents that time has yellowed to discover how Gen. Ulysses S. Grant felt when first witnessing “Lincoln’s revolutionary tool for making sure that neither distance nor intermediaries diffused his leadership” — the telegraph.

Confucius and the Right of Resistance

Confucius and the Right of Resistance

From the Magna Carta to John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, Western tradition is saturated with the idea that individuals have the right to resist tyrannical oppression. Our American heroes, history, and political attitudes make the challenging underdog a bestselling character. But when the virtue of resistance is so thoroughly encoded in our philosophical DNA, it is difficult to recognize legitimacy in a narrative that would condemn the underdog in the name of higher virtue. The tension in Hong Kong — a city built between the fault lines of liberal democracy and communism — crystallizes these differences.

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