Fans of Edith Stein can hold back only so long before giving in to reading her mentor and greatest philosophical influencer, Edmund Husserl. “Edmund Husserl formed my philosophical thinking,” stated Edith.
In order to understand the mind of Edith Stein, which is precisely what we aim to do, we first must understand the mind of Edmund Husserl. The most stimulating influence on me at this point in my journey is that of walking with Edith Stein on her own journey through Phenomenology to Thomas Aquinas. I say “through” rather than “from” Phenomenology because she modified but never disowned her phenomenology. She fought the good fight, the noble battle, to reconcile her philosophical formation with that of the Church, notably in Aquinas. Nowhere but on this journey with my philosophical mentor and patroness, Edith Stein, can I be so alive.
Because of her, I have done that which I sought to do for many years – to take my own “phenomenological” experience and translate it from “accidental category” to a higher “objective essence,” i.e., from subjective experience to an objective model that could be taught to anyone seeking faith, hope, and love through the reintegration of their heart, mind, and soul.
“That we should set aside all previous habits of thought, see through and break down the mental barriers which these habits have set along the horizons of our thinking, and in full intellectual freedom proceed to lay hold on those genuine philosophical problems still awaiting completely fresh formulation which the liberated horizons on all sides disclose to us—these are hard demands. Yet nothing less is required.”