Who am I and who is Edith

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Jul 25, 2010, 12:52:18 PM7/25/10
to Edith Stein Study Group
Greetings: I requested to join the group to learn. I know (and
respect) Sean, Dan, Sylvia and Phil. I am simply a thinker with my
only recognizable credentials being "I am Catholic and Phil's Wife".
So my expression will be very different from the rest of you who
comprise what I consider to be a very astute and learned group of

I have read and am again reading Edith Stein. One of the posts
mentioned that others had studied Edith (mainly) from a spiritual
perspective and that a new group decided she needed to be studied from
a philosophical perspective.

After going thru the posts (and thinking in the kitchen:).....my
thought was "I wonder how Edith Stein would like to be studied...can
anyone separate her Philosophy from her Spirituality from her
Personality etc. and get a True look at who she was......can you study
only her Philosophy (or her Spirituality) and do her justice....or is
the goal NOT to find out who she was as a person....but.... only how
she thought". As a Jewish discalced Carmelite whose primary goal was
her relationship with God (as she personally knew Him)....who was
pushed from Pillar to Post as the war progressed and (as I understand
it) never even kept a list of hr manuscripts/papers/lectures, I wonder
what she would say about all the accolades and having study groups
analyzing her thoughts and manuscripts. I state the obvious that
Edith Stein is a wonderfully, brilliant multi-layered personality who
based her thinking in Truth....and had a very simple life goal. As one
Bio states, "In the midst of all her studies, Edith Stein was
searching not only for the truth, but for Truth itself..... She was
baptized on New Year’s Day, 1922".

Her thoughts in Knowledge and Faith (p 10-14 Ver.A) about the
difference between Natural Reason and Divine Reason give a lot of


John Gurmin

Jul 25, 2010, 2:01:46 PM7/25/10
to edith-stein...@googlegroups.com
Dear Linda,

First of all, really nice to meet you.

You are right in saying that Edith was not a compartmentalized
thinker, and that her life was consistent in terms of what she
thought/ taught and how she lived.

We in IASPES noticed that people found it easier to relate to her
religious writings and merely wished to establish a society to help
and encourage people to engage with her philosophical writings. We
know that her writings are very dense and so one of the aims of the
society is to perhaps in the future provide study-guides to help
people come to know her philosophy as much as Stein's other writings.
I guess that when forming an association we wanted to work on that
section in particular otherwise if we were to to promote all aspects
of Stein's thinking we'd be overcome and there are many societies that
place Stein's religious writings at the centre but few that
concentrate on her philosophy. So that was just the reason for that,
but most of the philosophers that are interested in her philosophical
work also read the other works - theological, spiritual etc. and would
be interested in her life/ personhood certainly interdisciplinary
philosophical-theological papers would also be of interest to IASPES.

One can certainly as you outline see Edith's search for 'truth' in her
writings from the early (when she was an atheist) to the late ... it
is really amazing to see how she lived her philosophy/ theology and
thus for Catholics she is rightly deemed to be a 'Saint' - in Stein's
philosophy a 'Saint' could be viewed as 'the' person (open to the
world of values) that had all the values in the right order.

Best regards,

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