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The Philosophy of Edith Stein

By Antonio Calcagno

Publication Year: 2007

For most philosophers, the work of Edith Stein continues to be eclipsed and relegated to obscurity. This work presents an excellent cross-section of Stein’s writings and demonstrates the timeliness and relevance of her ideas for contemporary philosophical scholarship. Antonio Calcagno covers most of Edith Stein’s philosophical life, from her early work with Husserl to her later encounters with medieval Christian thought, as well as a critical and analytical reading of major Steinian texts. Stein was an original thinker who challenged not only the direction in which Husserlian phenomenology was progressing but also sought to bring to philosophical light the relevance of certain key questions, including the meaning of what it is to be human, the relevance of metaphysics to science, and fundamental questions about the nature of God. Working to correct the perception that Stein is either an “unfaithful and distorting” phenomenologist or a pious Catholic mystic, Calcagno presents important work that has been neglected by both secular and religious scholars. The essays are not merely expository, but discuss the philosophical questions raised by Stein’s work from a contemporary perspective, using Stein’s original German texts. In its attention to the breadth and depth of Stein’s philosophy from its initial development to its more mature form, The Philosophy of Edith Stein offers a new understanding of an individual who left behind an incredible philosophical and literary legacy worthy of scholarly attention. The book will be of interest not only to Stein scholars, but to feminists, phenomenologists, and Heideggerians.

Published by: Duquesne University Press


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xv

Many books on Edith Stein made their appearance in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Generally, they retell the story of her life and death and are devoted to her particular form of spirituality. Books devoted specifically to her philosophy are fewer. Most that are available in English are either introductions or presentations of Stein’s philosophical legacy,1 or they deal with her early writings...

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1. Edith Stein: A Controversial and Paradoxical Life

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pp. 1-24

With raw wit and penetrating insight, Flannery O’Connor once remarked about Edith Stein in a letter to a friend known only as A., “Sent you a piece out of the Catholic Worker that I thought was about Edith Stein until I read it but maybe in the next issue he will get back to the subject of her. If she is ever canonized, she will be one saint that...

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2. Stein’s Phenomenology of Community: Individual and/or Superindividual?

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pp. 25-43

While Edmund Husserl was professor of philosophy at G

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3. Persona Politica:The Person as Point of Unity and Difference in the State

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pp. 45-62

Political philosophy was a fruitful topic of reflection for the G

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4. Empathy as a Feminine Structure of Phenomenological Consciousness

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pp. 63-79

Edith Stein’s decision to cease working with Edmund Husserl coincided with her resolution to pursue her own philosophical work. The break with Husserl, however, did not mean that she forsook her interest in phenomenology for a more Christian philosophy.1 Rather, Stein saw her project as trying to bring phenomenology into dialogue with Christian thought and her own feminist philosophy. Husserl was aware of her project, though he was never completely...

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5. Freedom, Responsibility, and Intentionality:The Question of the Specifically Human

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pp. 81-97

In L’humanité perdue, Alain Finkielkraut describes the twentieth century as one of the most brutal and destructive epochs of human history. 1 He tries to comprehend what became of humanity since 1914, and more precisely, what the idea of humanity has meant throughout this century. Finkielkraut concludes his work by maintaining that the idea of a common humanity has had...

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6. Is the State Responsible for the Immortal Soul of the Person?

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pp. 99-111

If Aristotle’s insight that politics implies metaphysics is considered valid, then Edith Stein has something relevant to say, for she gives an ontic description of the state.1 Stein’s phenomenology of the state describes the various Abschattungen or profiles constituting the being of the state. One of the key operative principles of the being of the state is that it is viewed in personal terms, yet it is not conceived...

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7. Die F

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pp. 113-131

Just after the Second World War, when the task of collating, editing, and printing Edith Stein’s Werke came under the auspices of the Husserl Archives at Louvain, a problem arose with regard to the publication of Endliches und ewiges Sein (Finite and Eternal Being). The editors of the collected works found attached to Stein’s Habilitationsschrift two appendices, the first entitled, “Die Seelenburg...


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pp. 133-146


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pp. 147-151

E-ISBN-13: 9780820705576
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820703985

Page Count: 166
Publication Year: 2007