Johann Joseph Gorres

Author, and champion of Catholic interests in Germany, born Coblenz, Germany, 1776; died Munich, Germany, 1848. His earliest writings reveal his admiration for the principles of the French Revolution, but a visit to Paris in 1800 cured him of his enthusiasm. Returning to Coblenz he taught physics till 1806, when he became a docent at Heidelberg, then a center of German Romanticism, in which he was interested. Two years later he was again at Coblenz, where he devoted himself to mythology and was named superintendent of education. His struggle for civil and religious liberty provoked the hostility of the Prussian government, and to escape arrest he fled to Strasbourg. Gradually he took a more active part in the defense of the Church. In 1827 he was called to the University of Munich, and became the leading spirit in a brilliant Catholic circle including Arndts, Dollinger, Mohler, Phillips, and other scholars, who worked for a renovation of the spiritual life, and the civil liberty of Catholics. As a result of his study of the medieval mystical writers, he produced his great work on Christian mysticism, and when the Prussians arrested the Archbishop of Cologne he at once opposed the infringement of ecclesiastical rights by the civil power, and became a constant contributor to the newly established "Historisch-politische Blatter." In his last years he showed his loyalty once more by his condemnation of the schism of Johann Ronge (1845).

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