Edith Stein’s Phenomenology and Christian Philosophy
Edith Stein’s Trinitarian Ontology
← 268 | 269 →MARIAN MASKULAK CPS
ABSTRACT: In her ontological study, Edith Stein concludes that finite being is dependent upon an eternal being who is being itself. Understanding this eternal being to be the Trinity, she meticulously works to uncover an image of the Triune God in all levels of being of the created world. In this respect alone, Stein’s work can rightly be considered a Trinitarian ontology. But perhaps more engaging, Stein not only incorporates certain criteria deemed important for a contemporary Trinitarian ontology, such as those named by Thomas Norris, but includes several other significant aspects, thus providing many rich insights for current study.
In the opening chapter of Finite and Eternal Being, Edith Stein maintains the validity of appropriating theological doctrine as a source of knowledge in the philosophical search for a fuller understanding of reality. Hence, when her investigation into the meaning of being leads her to conclude that finite being is dependent upon an eternal being who is being itself, Stein understands the ‘author and archetype of all finite being’ to be the Triune God.1 I believe that Stein’s ontology reaches a climax in chapter VII when she seeks an image of the Triune God in the created world with the hope of gaining further insight into finite being. In this respect, I submit that Stein’s work can rightly be considered a Trinitarian ontology and I will begin by presenting an overview of Stein’s perception of how the image of the Trinity...
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