Edith Stein and Roman Ingarden, both students of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, corresponded extensively between 1917 and 1938. These 162 letters, most published here for the first time, reveal a friendship that spanned the adult lives of these two important 20th-century thinkers. Translated by Hugh Candler Hunt.
Through Stein’s letters, the reader can follow her through her student days, her conversion from Judaism to Catholicism, her professional life, and her decision to become a Carmelite nun in the Carmel of Cologne, where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. The letters end in 1938, when the Nazi threat escalating throughout Eastern Europe made correspondence difficult, especially across national borders. Four years later Edith Stein was arrested in the Netherlands by the Nazi SS, transported to Auschwitz, and was killed in the gas chambers. Roman Ingarden survived World War II, continued his academic work in Poland, and died in 1970.
Although Ingarden’s letters to her have not been found, Stein’s to him also help us understand the life of this Polish phenomenologist and aesthetician, his life in Poland, his intellectual development, his own writings and academic career, and the editorial assistance Stein provided for all of the works he published in German.
Translated from the newest critical German edition by Dr. Hugh Candler Hunt, this premiere English edition of her correspondence—volume 12 of ICS Publications’ Collected Works of Edith Stein—gives us a fascinating and intimate window into Edith Stein’s rich life and personality, revealing her warmth and humor, deep capacity for friendship, and remarkable intellectual and spiritual depth. Contains 13 photos, bibliography and a fully linked index.