In the wake of World War I when neither Jews nor women were widely accepted in academia, Edith Stein rose to prominence as a leading intellectual in Germany. She was a passionate and brilliant philosopher who lived and thrived in the intellectual university community of Germany. She was also a young Jewish woman who shocked her intellectual community when she fell in love with Jesus Christ and became a Roman Catholic.
More shocking still, eleven years later, Edith entered the cloistered Carmelite order to follow a life of mystic and contemplative prayer in the cloister under the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Edith Stein’s surrender to grace is all the more visible because of the dark night that enveloped the period of history in which she lived and died — years when millions of men and women, including Edith Stein herself, were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime in the name of diligent ethnic cleansing.
Today, as the meaning of feminism is lost in a world of relativism, Edith Stein provides a model for a true feminist woman who authentically integrates faith, family, and work. In these pages, award-winning journalist Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda brings new light to this complex woman, her culture, and the pivotal period of history in which she lived and died.
More than a biography, these pages paint a multifaceted portrait of Edith Stein as seen by scholars, friends, and relatives – and by Catholics and Jews alike. You’ll gain new insights into the complex aspects of her life and death, as well as the impact of her character and personality on those who knew her. But most of all, you will enter into the interior life of this woman of Jewish descent who transformed her entire life because of her encounter with Jesus Christ, an encounter that led her from the depths of atheism to the heights of sainthood.