Finite and Eternal Being
Edited by Dr. L. Gelber and Romaeus Leuven, O.C.D.
Translated by Kurt F. Reinhardt.
664 pages, paper,
This volume bears the imprint of the extraordinary intellectual and spiritual journey of its author, one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century. Born in Breslau into a practicing Jewish family in 1891, Edith Stein abandoned her faith as a teenager. In 1921, however, she underwent a profound conversion and the following year she was baptized into the Catholic church. As a prominent German Catholic lay-woman she continued her teaching, writing and promotion of women's rights and began directing her attention toward a deeper encounter between the phenomenology she had helped to develop and the modern scholastic tradition of the church she had embraced. In 1933 she left the academic milieu and entered the Carmel of Cologne. Yet, she soon took up her intellectual labors again to produce the present text, which remained unpublished at the time of her death in 1942 at the hands of the Nazis. Finite and Eternal Being is Edith Stein's master work, the culmination of her lifelong search for truth in all its philosophical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions.
Starting from the most basic principles, the author takes us on a journey through a vast range of classic philosophical themes, such as potency and act, substance and accident, matter and form, time and eternity, in creative dialogue with the great thinkers of the past (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas. Scotus) and of modern times (e.g., Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Przywara, Conrad-Martius). With her careful step-by-step analysis, she gradually shows how the being of all finite existents (especially the human "I") finds its ultimate ground and destiny in the eternal Divine Being, the Creator whose trinitarian nature is reflected throughout creation.
". . .a demanding journey for the reader, presuming familiarity with the scope of Western philosophy. But. . .richly rewarding and well worth the effort to persevere."
in The Wichita Eagle
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