(August 13, 2022) Mark Ellis shares the remarkable story of a martyred converted Jewish philosopher…
The German Jewish philosopher Edith Stein was born into an observant Jewish family on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Hebrew calendar, also known as the Day of Atonement.
Despite her family’s strong faith, she became an agnostic in her teens and pursued an academic career, earning a doctorate in philosophy, summa cum laude, with her brilliant dissertation about empathy.
She joined the faculty of the University of Freiburg, where she became an assistant to Edmund Husserl, who had established the school of phenomenology.
‘This is the truth’
In the summer of 1921, Edith spent several weeks at the country estate of a pupil of Husserl’s who had converted to Christianity. One evening she picked up The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. Captivated, she read the book throughout the night.