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John Ming

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A philosopher and writer, born at Gyswyl, Unterwalden, Switzerland, 20 Sept., 1838; died at Brooklyn, Ohio, U.S.A., 17 June, 1910. He was educated at the Benedictine College, Engelburg, Switzerland, and entered the German Jesuit novitiate in 1856. He studied philosophy at Aachen (1861-64), and theology at Maria-Laach (1865-69). After a year's tertianship in Westphalia he was sent to Kreuzberg, near Bonn, as a preacher, and in 1871 became lecturer in theology at Görz, Austria. In 1872 he came to the United States, where, after two years devoted to pastoral ministry, he professed theology at Milwaukee. He was transferred two years later to Spring Hill, Alabama, where he taught philosophy, in which work he was afterwards engaged for twenty-one years, mainly at Buffalo, Prairie du Chien, and St. Louis. When once he had acquired English, Father Ming began to write for the leading Catholic magazines, especially the "Messenger" and the "American Catholic Quarterly Review", in which his first article appeared in 1879. His contributions deal mainly with evolution and socialism, the two most important questions confronting Catholics in the United States in his day. After the publication of a short but instructive treatise on the "Temporal Power of the Pope ", he undertook a more ambitious work in his "Data of Modern Ethics Examined". The prominence of the labour question led him to engage in a deep study of that problem. To this we owe "The Characteristics and the Religion of Modern Socialism ", and "The Morality of Modern Socialism ". These two works supply Catholic students with not only an unprejudiced exposition of the Socialistic movement as propounded by its leading advocates, but a critical refutation of the erroneous theories on which it is based.


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