Church-State Student Wins National Essay Contest

March 5, 1997

Albert Beck, doctoral fellow in church-state studies at Baylor University, has been named the winner of the 1997 Lord Acton Essay Contest sponsored by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, Mich. The title of Beck's essay was "'Freedom to do that which is Right': A Look at the Early American Synthesis of Liberty and Virtue."

Lord John Acton was a 19th century British historian whose life's work was describing the interrelationship between religion and liberty. The theme for this year's contest was taken from a quote by Lord Acton, "Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought."

"By examining 18th century sermons and literature, I wrote on the idea that there can't be virtue without liberty or liberty without virtue. That the two are dependent on each other," said Beck about his essay.

The essay contest was open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a theological seminary or a religious studies program regardless of denomination or religious tradition or students who show a demonstrated interest in religious themes.

In addition to winning a financial award, Beck's essay will be published in a book along with the other top five essays of this year's contest.

For more information, contact Beck at 755-1510.

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