Friday, February 21, 2014

St Edith Stein On Women

Foremost among Christian feminists has to be the great Edith Stein: philosopher, teacher, convert, nun, martyr.  Her writings on women, not as well known as they should be, are deeply insightful and offer an antidote to the atheistic, relativistic, even permissive feminism which seems to have grabbed hold of the world in the last few decades. As a philosopher and observer of the human person, Edith has much to say about what it means to be human, to be a believer and to be a woman in the modern, secular world.  

A few days ago I came across a wonderful article exploring what Edith has to say, and I thought it might be worth sharing with you.  Edith is not easy to read.  As Carmelites we try to familiarize ourselves with the writings of our Saints, but Edith offers us an unique challenge.  When we come to tackle her major works we all become phenomenologists and at times struggle with what she is saying.  It is a relief when we turn to her spiritual writings and her autobiography which are beautiful, intimate and profound. Anyway, here is the link to that article.  It is by Elise Italiano.  

One point which has stayed with me is one concerning the single life.  Too often people who do not marry are considered to have been left on the shelf.  I remember a single parishioner, a lady, discussing the need for a spirituality of the single life, and more emphasis on that way of life: "Not everyone is married or in vows", she said.  That's true.  Sometimes we can forget those who live their Christian life in the single state.  On that St Edith has certainly raised some issues.

1 comment:

  1. Or as the church calls her, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross