Born in Munich, Max Ferdinand Scheler was a pupil of Rudolf Eucken. Afterward he taught at the Universities of Jena, Munich, and Cologne. In 1910 he retired from teaching to live in Berlin and pursue an independent career as a philosophical writer. Under the influence of Edmund Husserl, he adopted the phenomenological method, which he used to examine value experiences such as those involved in social institutions and religion. Scheler's main contributions were to the fields of philosophy and sociology. He is credited with having influenced Martin Heidegger, Ernst Cassirer, Gabriel Marcel, and Jose Ortega y Gasset. Scheler has been viewed as a symbol of European intellectual unrest before and after World War I. His personal life was stormy. Yet in the midst of internal and external unrest and turmoil, Scheler persisted in his philosophical labors. Between 1913 and 1916, he published what is regarded as his major work, Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values, an ambitious attempt to articulate a phenomenology of ethical values. Scheler's conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1920 was widely interpreted as a manifestation of the spiritual and intellectual vitality of the church. An account of his conversion is given in his book On the Eternal in Man (1921). This book has been acclaimed as "one of the clearest and most comprehensive discussions of the approach to theistic philosophy, a work that shows "a remarkable combination of observation with metaphysical acumen."