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Cummings, Edward (20 April 1861–02 November 1926), sociologist and Unitarian minister, was born in Colebrook, New Hampshire, the son of Edward Norris Cummings, the part owner of a general store, and Lucretia F. Merrill. As a high school student in Woburn, Massachusetts, he worked alongside master carpenters following the failure of his father’s business, an experience that doubtless colored his later understanding of theology and sociology....

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Greeley, Andrew Moran (05 February 1928–29 May 2013), Catholic priest, sociologist, popular theologian, and novelist, was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Andrew T. Greeley, a businessman, and the former Grace McNichols, who worked prior to marriage and in widowhood as a billing clerk at Sears. His grandparents emigrated from Ireland. Raised in moderate comfort and interested from childhood in becoming a priest, Greeley entered Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago at the age of fourteen and attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in suburban Mundelein from 1947 until 1954, when he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Assigned initially to a prosperous parish in the city’s southwest corner, Greeley developed an interest in the affluent, highly educated Catholics whose numbers were growing rapidly in the 1950s. Their impact on what had hitherto been a predominantly working-class, immigrant church was the subject of his first book, ...

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Henderson, Charles Richmond (17 December 1848–29 March 1915), sociologist and minister, was born in Covington, Indiana, the son of Albert Henderson and Loraine Richmond. Henderson received an A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1870 and a B.D. (1873) and a D.D. (1875) from the Baptist Union Theological Seminary. After graduating from the seminary, he was ordained and became the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1873. In 1882 he became the pastor of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue Baptist Church, where he remained for ten years. He served these churches with distinction....

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Kerby, William Joseph (20 February 1870–27 July 1936), Catholic priest and promoter of professional social work, was born in Lawler, Iowa, the son of Irish immigrants Daniel P. Kerby, a prosperous banker, and Ellen Rockford. One of ten children, he attended St. Joseph’s (now Loras) College in Dubuque. After graduating in 1889, he entered St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Dubuque on 21 December 1892. He then continued the study of theology at the recently opened Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where the relatively liberal Belgian professor ...

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Ming, John Joseph (20 September 1838–17 June 1910), Jesuit sociologist, was born in Giswyl, Unterwalden, Switzerland. Knowledge about his parents and other early biographical data is unavailable. He graduated from the classical course at Benedictine College of Engelberg and on 7 September 1856 entered the Society of Jesus to begin his theological studies. Just over twelve years later, on 13 September 1868, he was ordained and assigned as a preacher at Kreuzberg. In 1870, after completing a demanding tertianship, a final year of ascetic training and study, Ming became a professor of theology on the faculty at the Jesuit seminary in Gorizia, Austria....