Edith Stein’s Phenomenology and Christian Philosophy
Edited By Mette Lebech and John Haydn Gurmin
Part one Phenomenology
Sarah Borden Sharkey Reconciling Time and Eternity: Edith Stein’s Philosophical Project abstract: Edith Stein’s writings cover a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from Husserlian phenomenology to the characters of Sigrid Undset, from critiques of her contemporaries’ understanding of the state to commentaries on St John of the Cross. Nearly all of her thought, however, is marked by an interest in updating older ideas in light of more recent concerns. In this paper, I would like to present a brief intellectual biography for Stein, and then look at four examples of how she takes more traditional ideas and gives them a distinct, contemporary twist. Edith Stein is one of the great creative minds of the twentieth century. She wrote on a vast array of topics: philosophic method, education, poli- tics, metaphysics, gender, spirituality, and the Carmelite tradition; she engaged in translation work, literary analysis, playwriting, autobiography, and philosophic commentary. But throughout, her thought is marked by an interest in updating older ideas in light of distinctively contemporary concerns. Stein was profoundly aware of the modern turn to the subject, of Kant’s transcendental turn, and subsequent philosophic interest in the formative power of history, gender, and social conditions. She took into account advances in the natural sciences, and her writings are marked by an affirmation of the value of individuals and individual experience. In nearly all of her work, we can see an interest in reconciling the old and the new. In the following, I would like to give a taste of...
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