Edith Stein

Biography

(1891-1942)

Edith Stein was a philosopher and champion of the Catholic Church until her death in 1942. She was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Poland, which was then a part of the German Empire. In 1922 she joined the Roman Catholic Church after reading the mystic teachings of St. Theresa of Avila. As she studied more about the Church, she earned a modest fame in the German Catholic community as a talented teacher and lecturer. She eventually became a Carmelite nun and stayed in the Carmelite monastery in Cologne. Because a law was passed saying that Jewish converts were no longer safe in Nazi Germany, she was transferred to a Carmelite monastery in the Netherlands. However, the safety of the Netherlands was a mere facade because after arriving there, a similar edict was passed saying that Jewish converts to Christianity were to be arrested. Edith and her sister, Rosa, were arrested and sent to Auschwitz where they died in a gas chamber on August 9, 1942. She is remembered today for her philosophical essays on Christianity, but she is more significantly remembered for her writings on women and their abilities to compete equally with men in society.

(Compiled by Joseph Gale)

See also

Essays by Edith Stein

Feminine vocations

The woman who "suits" man as helpmate does not only participate in his work; she complements him, counteracting the dangers of his specifically masculine nature.

On the history and spirit of Carmel

To stand before the face of the living God, that is our vocation.

Love of the cross

Voluntary expiatory suffering is what truly and really unites one to the Lord intimately.

Woman’s formation

The primary and most essential Educator is not the human being but God Himself.

Woman’s soul

The world of the spirit is founded on sensuousness which is spiritual as much as physical: the intellect, knowing its activity to be rational, reveals a world; the will intervenes creatively and formatively in this world; the emotion receives this world inwardly and puts it to the test.
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