Until the late twentieth century, the work of Edith Stein was largely lost to history: a casualty of the Holocaust. In her short life, Stein produced an extensive collection of scholarly work consisting of twenty-seven separate volumes, the majority of which was completely untouched until the late 1950s. This vast repertoire covered a variety of topics, including her own autobiography, phenomenology and Thomism, and social issues. Stein’s work continued to be overlooked in the English-speaking world because none of it was published in English until the late 1980s. One volume in Stein’s repertoire, Essays on Woman, published in English in 1987, develops feminist ideology rooted in Catholicism that was radical at Stein’s time of writing. Stein’s feminist essays, which were largely ignored due to debates surrounding her 1986 beatification and the culture of the feminist movement at the time of publishing, focused on women’s vocations, spirituality, and education. Through her Essays on Woman, Edith Stein anticipated many of the ideas of the Catholic Feminist Movement in America, indicating that the gender and education issues Stein faced are still present today.
Marshall, Grace, "Edith Stein: Foremother of Catholic Feminism" (2022). Student Scholarship. 26.
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Dr. Marcus Smith