Pope Saint John Paul II declared that the great challenge for Christians today is to become “the home and school of communion.”St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) is a sure guide to attaining the communion for which every human heart longs. This work considers St. Teresa’s life and writings in the context of the “spirituality of communion”. As a philosopher she was directed towards attaining communion with the Truth, and she discovered that Truth was a Person, Jesus Christ. As a Carmelite nun she gave up everything for communion with him.
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, in the foreword, says Edith Stein’s message “is above her time” and that the author, Sister M. Regina van den Berg, F.S.G.M. “is well qualified to write such a book.” Sister Regina explores in detail Edith Stein’s theory of empathy as developed in her doctoral dissertation, as well as her later theory of community. Sister Regina has also used a number of Edith Stein’s writings that, until this work, have not yet been available in English translation.
Each chapter explores an aspect of “communion”, richly revealing the wisdom of Edith Stein, “a Jew who became a philosopher . . . a convert to Catholicism who became a Carmelite nun and crowned her life with martyrdom”. Stein’s work “provides insights that can help us to grow in the spirituality of communion, first by presenting to us the truth about the human person’s nature and vocation and then by showing us how we can arrive at a spirituality of communion in the various aspects of life.”
“Sister Regina unveils the depths of Edith Stein’s insights, revealing Stein’s nuanced account of community between women and men, human and angelic communities, membership in the Mystical Body, etc. An impressive achievement that teaches much about how to be more fully human.”
Sarah Borden Sharkey, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton College
“This book will help the reader deepen an appreciation for the significance of Teresa Benedicta/Edith Stein in contemporary debates.”
– Fr. John Sullivan, O.C.D., Institute of Carmelite Studies