Edith Stein Essays on Woman

The Collected Works of Edith Stein

Book 2
ICS Publications
1
Free sample

To help celebrate the fourth centenary of the birth of St. John of the Cross in 1542, Edith Stein received the task of preparing a study of his writings. She uses her skill as a philosopher to enter into an illuminating reflection on the difference between the two symbols of cross and night. Pointing out how entering the night is synonymous with carrying the cross, she provides a condensed presentation of John's thought on the active and passive nights, as discussed in The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night. All of this leads Edith to speak of the glory of resurrection that the soul shares, through a unitive contemplation described chiefly in The Living Flame of Love. In the summer of 1942, the Nazis without warrant took Edith away. The nuns found the manuscript of this profound study lying open in her room. 
Because of the Nazis' merciless persecution of Jews in Germany, Edith Stein traveled discreetly across the border into Holland to find safe harbor in the Carmel of Echt. But the Nazi invasion of Holland in 1940 again put Edith in danger. The cross weighed down heavily as those of Jewish birth were harassed. Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross's superiors then assigned her a task they thought would take her mind off the threatening situation. The fourth centenary of the birth, of St. John of the Cross (1542) was approaching, and Edith could surely contribute a valuable study for the celebration. It is no surprise that in view of her circumstances she discovered in the subject of the cross a central viewpoint for her study. A subject like this enabled her to grasp John's unity of being as expressed in his life and works.      Using her training in phenomenology, she helps the reader apprehend the difference in the symbolic character of cross and night and why the night-symbol prevails in John. She clarifies that detachment is designated by him as a night through which the soul must pass to reach union with God and points out how entering the night is equivalent to carrying the cross.      Finally, in a fascinating way Edith speaks of how the heart or fountainhead of personal life, an inmost region, is present in both God and the soul and that in the spiritual marriage this inmost region is surrendered by each to the other. She observes that in the soul seized by God in contemplation all that is mortal is consumed in the fire of eternal love. The spirit as spirit is destined for immortal being, to move through fire along a path from the cross of Christ to the glory of his resurrection.       Book includes two photos and fully linked index.
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About the author

Edith Stein, born on October 12, 1891, of Jewish parents, converted to Catholicism and was baptized on January 1, 1922. After her conversion, Edith spent her days teaching, lecturing, writing and translating, and she soon became known as a celebrated philosopher and author, but her own great longing was for the solitude and contemplation of Carmel, in which she could offer herself to God for her people. She entered the Discalced Carmelite Nuns cloistered community at Cologne-Lindenthal on October 14, 1933. The following April, Edith received the Habit of Carmel and the religious name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1935, she made her Profession of Vows. When the Jewish persecution increased in violence and fanaticism, Sister Teresa Benedicta soon realized the danger that her presence was to the Cologne Carmel, and she asked and received permission to transfer to a foreign monastery. On the night of December 31, 1938, she secretly crossed the border into Holland where she was warmly received in the Carmel of Echt. There she wrote her last work, The Science of the Cross. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942. She was canonized on October 11, 1998.
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Additional Information

Publisher
ICS Publications
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Published on
Oct 30, 2012
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Pages
190
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ISBN
9781939272010
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Essays
Philosophy / Movements / Phenomenology
Religion / Spirituality
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Edith Stein's analysis of the interplay between the philosophy of psychology and cultural studies, particularly psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism. Contains a fully linked Index.

More Information:  "Do I have to?" is the most human of all questions. Children ask it when told to go to sleep. Adults ponder it when faced with the demands of the workplace, the family, or their own emotions and addictions. We find ourselves always poised between freedom and necessity.

     In this volume, her most profound and carefully argued phenomenology of human creativity, Edith Stein explores the interplay of causal constraints and motivated choices. She demonstrates that physical events and physiological processes do not entirely determine behavior; the energy deployed for living and creativity exceeds what comes to us through physical means. The human body is a complex interface between the material world and an equally real world of personal value.

     The body opens as well to community. Stein shows that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a solitary human being. Communities are reservoirs of the meaning and value that fuel both our everyday choices and our once-in-a-lifetime accomplishments. This basic fact, she argues, is the starting point for any viable political or social theory.

     The two treatises in this book comprise her post-doctoral dissertation that Stein wrote to qualify for a teaching job at a German university just after the First World War. They ring with the joy, hope, and confidence of a brilliant young scholar. Today they continue to challenge the major schools of twentieth-century psychology and cultural studies, particularly psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism. Here, too, is the intellectual manifesto of a woman who would go on to become a Christian and a Carmelite nun, only to be killed at Auschwitz like so many others of Jewish ancestry.


Five contributions on the title themes, including two of Stein's most famous essays: a comparison of Husserl and Aquinas, and an examination of the "Ways to Know God" according to Pseudo-Dionysius.  Contains a fully linked Index.

More Information

     The articles and notes in this new anthology come from the final twelve years of Edith Stein's life, and reveal her efforts to integrate the Christian faith she had embraced at the time of her baptism with her rigorous training as a phenomenologist. Included here for the first time are both versions of her famous comparison between the thought-systems of Edmund Husserl (her philosophical mentor) and Thomas Aquinas (representing the Catholic tradition), written first in dialogue form and then reworked as an essay in Husserl's honor. The final entry, "Ways to Know God," a study of the famed fifth or sixth century author who wrote under the name of Dionysius the Areopagite, was originally published in The Thomist and intended for an American audience. One of the last works that Edith Stein completed before her arrest and deportation to Auschwitz, it is presented here in a fresh new translation, amplified with previously deleted sections that deal with such important topics as atheism and the nature of symbols.

     In his recent encyclical, Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II recommends attention to Edith Stein as one of the great modern figures who "offer significant examples of a process of philosophical enquiry which was enriched by engaging the data of faith" (para. 74). This book provides readers interested in Edith Stein with an accessible introduction to major themes in her later thought.  

 This initial volume of the Collected Works of Edith Stein offers, for the first time in English, the unabridged biography of Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), depicting her life as a child and young adult. Her text ends abruptly because the Nazi SS arrested, then deported, her to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942. The ebook version contains a fully linked Index, Map and List of Places.

Edith Stein is one of the most significant German-Jewish women of the 20th century. At the age of twenty-five she became the first assistant to Edmund Husserl, the founder of Phenomenology. She was much in demand as a writer and lecturer after her conversion from atheism to Catholicism. Later, as a Discalced Carmelite nun, she maintained her intellectual pursuits until she, like so many others, became a victim of the Nazi persecution that raged across Eastern Europe.


By making this landmark work available in English, the Institute of Carmelite Studies provides an eye-witness account of persons and activities on the scene at the time when psychology and philosophy became separate disciplines.


In addition to photographs and a map, this volume is enhanced with a preface, the foreword and afterword, notes, and a list of places associated with Edith Stein’s life. It is our aim that these, together with Edith Stein’s text, may help bring into relief the many background details of the rich autobiographical work she has left us.


**Chosen "Best Spirituality Book of 1986" by the Catholic Press Association**

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