Contemplating Edith Stein
368 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268021894 | November 2004
Hardcover | 9780268021887 | November 2004
Controversy surrounding the beatification and canonization of Edith Stein, a Catholic convert of Jewish heritage who was murdered at Auschwitz, has eclipsed scholarly and public attention to Stein’s extraordinary development as a philosopher. She succeeded in extending phenomenological inquiry into the nature of person, community, and state; in analyzing the truth claims of empathic knowledge; in probing the foundations of pedagogy; and in offering a synthesis of medieval philosophy and phenomenology. Only the second woman in German history to be awarded a Ph.D. in philosophy, Stein ranks among the leading early-twentieth-century European intellectuals. She also made lasting contributions, both intellectual and practical, to women’s education, freedom, and equality in Germany. The sixteen essays in this collection, written by scholars from the United States and Europe, critically examine her legacy. This volume represents the first comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis in English of Stein’s life and philosophical writings. The book is divided into three sections—biographical explorations, Stein's feminist theory and pedagogy, and her creative philosophical contributions. The essays in this volume also situate Stein’s life and thought in the complex historical context of early-twentieth-century Germany.
Joyce Avrech Berkman is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts. Contributors: Joyce Avrech Berkman, Dana K. Greene, Patricia Hampl, John Sullivan, OCD, Scott Spector, Theresa Wobbe, Angelika von Renteln, Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, Linda Lopez McAlister, Rachel Feldhay Brenner, Lisa M. Dolling, Antonio Calcagno, Angela Ales Bello, Sarah Borden, and Beate Beckmann-Zöller.
“. . . A valuable contribution to the fields of history, religion, philosophy, feminist thought, and . . . reveals the power and versatility of Edith Stein’s life and thought.” ~Central European History
“A valuable contribution to the existing literature on Edith Stein. These quality essays are written by a well-established international network of commentators and translators of Stein.”“A valuable contribution to the existing literature on Edith Stein. These quality essays are written by a well-established international network of commentators and translators of Stein.” ~Elisabeth Young-Brueh
“We badly need this new book on Edith Stein, so that we may ponder how a brilliant Jewish woman in Weimar Germany could become a Carmelite nun, yet retain a vivid Jewish identity and close ties to her family. The essays help us synthesize Stein’s troubling legacy as an accomplished philosopher, a Catholic saint, a Jewish daughter, and a stubborn feminist who was trapped in very dark times indeed.” ~Herman Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies, University of California at San Diego
“An impressive collection of essays from an international network of highly respected Edith Stein scholars. . . . Teeming with insights, they cannot fail to stimulate anyone interested in Edith Stein.” ~Mount Carmel Magazine
“Readers will be fascinated by this multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art, well-contextualized essay collage on the life and writings of Edith Stein. A remarkable woman in every respect, the deeply spiritual Edith Stein crossed many seemingly uncrossable boundaries—national, linguistic, religious, intellectual—in her search for understanding of the human condition. This volume, ably orchestrated by Joyce Berkman, provides English-language readers an excellent introduction to a brilliant, complex, twentieth-century European woman: intellectual, philosopher, feminist, Jew, Christian, and Catholic saint.” ~Karen Offen, Ph.D.