Edith Stein's Spiritual Journey

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St Edith Stein’s spiritual journey begins at birth. St. Edith Stein, also referred to as Teresa Benedicta, was born in 1891 as the youngest member of a Jewish family living in Breslau, Poland. The fact she was the youngest of eleven children as well as her birthday falling on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, contributed to Edith quickly becoming her mother’s favorite child. Edith and her mother became very close, her mother supporting Edith’s academic quests and encouraging critical thinking. Edith studied theology and phenomenology: the science of phenomena as distinct from that of the nature of being. In simpler words, Edith studied how people observe and feel about their surroundings. Although Edith valued her mother’s strong religious beliefs she had become an atheist by the age of 14. Her spiritual journey …show more content…
During her summer holiday in 1921 Stein read St. Teresa of Àvila’s biography. This reading prompted her to convert to Catholicism on January 1, 1922. Although she was eager to seek entry to the religious life she was dissuaded by her spiritual advisors, who instead encouraged her to take a teaching position at a Dominican nuns’ school. Here she translated St. Thomas of Aquainas' works, studied Roman Catholic philosophy, and tried to bridge her preexisting beliefs with Thomism: the philosophical school regarding the works of St. Thomas. Moving on from the nuns’ school she began work at Catholic-Church affiliated Institute for Scientific Pedagogy in 1932. However, anti-semitic legislation forced her to resign just a year later. She was so afflicted by this discrimination she wrote to the Pope asking him to denounced the Nazi regime she was living under. This anti-Semitism would begin to affect her in more drastic ways as well, as she was a Roman Catholic but held defining Jewish blood within her

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