Edith Stein’s Phenomenology and Christian Philosophy
A Yet Hidden Story: Edith Stein and the Bergzabern Circle
← 124 | 125 →JOACHIM FELDES
ABSTRACT: Most biographies of Edith Stein, having described her movement towards baptism in Bergzabern on New Year’s Day 1922, smoothly carry on with her transfer to Speyer, focussing on her teaching and scholarly activities there. Only a few authors mention that Stein remained in contact with Conrad-Martius and during her years in Speyer repeatedly spent time with the Conrads in their house and orchard. Herbert Spiegelberg mentions in 1960 the existence of a ‘so-called Bergzabern Circle’ whose exact character – which Eberhard Avé-Lallemant since 2003 has repeatedly claimed – is still to be explored. Following closer investigations of the circle’s seven members: Theodor Conrad, Hedwig Conrad-Martius, Jean Hering, Alexandre Koyré, Hans Lipps, Edith Stein and Alfred von Sybel, we see how their legacies give insight into a vast network starting with discussions in the Philosophische Gesellschaft Göttingen. Getting more and more puzzled by Husserl’s ‘transzendentaler Wende’ and choosing Reinach as philosophical focus, the circle’s members come to see themselves as heirs of ‘true phenomenology’, establishing an institutional response – the so-called Phänomenologenheim, an expression created by Stein – to Husserl’s and Heidegger’s position. The article focuses on different phases in the Bergzabern Circle’s development, starting with some sketches of its ‘prehistory’ in Göttingen and during the war. It describes the years from the end the war and Stein’s start as a teacher in Speyer in 1923, including the circle’s debate on and with Heidegger. A further chapter is dedicated to the time up to...
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