John A. Ryan Photo

John A. Ryan

Born: May 25, 1869

Death: Sep 16, 1945

Birthplace: Vermillion

Nationality: United States

John A. Ryan

Date of Birth : May 25, 1869
Date of Death : Sep 16, 1945
Birth Place : Vermillion

John Augustine Ryan was a leading Catholic priest who was a noted moral theologian, professor, author and advocate of social justice. Ryan lived during a decisive moment in the development of Catholic social teaching within the United States. The largest influx of immigrants in America’s history, the emancipation of American slaves, and the industrial revolution had produced a new social climate in the early twentieth century, and the Catholic Church faced increasing pressure to take a stance on questions of social reform. Ryan saw the social reform debate of the early twentieth century as essentially an argument between libertarian individualists and collectivists concerned with equality, and thus contended that an emphasis on human welfare framed in natural law theory provided the most promising means to combine conflicting concerns over individual and social welfare. Ryan’s influential response was the development of a Catholic critique of the American capitalist system that emphasized the existence of absolute natural human rights.

Also known as


  • John A Ryan
  • John Ryan
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