Jewish Apostate and Catholic Saint: Edith Stein and Jewish-Christian Dialogue
1200 S Marquette Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
This talk considers the relevance of German-Jewish philosopher Edith Stein, who converted to Catholicism, entered a Carmelite convent, and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, for contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. Because of her Jewish descent, Stein was deported to and murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. She was subsequently beatified and canonized as a Catholic Saint by Pope John Paul II. The lecture explores the theological and political roots of the controversy surrounding Stein’s beatification and suggests that Catholic and Jewish parties both failed to recognize Stein’s significance, from the point of view of their own traditions, for Jewish-Christian dialogue. The lecture concludes by suggesting where Jewish-Christian dialogue might go from here.
Leora Batnitzky is Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion at Princeton University, where she also directs Princeton’s Program in Judaic Studies. She has degrees from Barnard College, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Princeton University and has been a visiting professor at Tokyo University, the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Cardozo Law School. She is the author of several books on modern Jewish thought, including How Judaism Became a Religion, and numerous articles and book chapters spanning modern Jewish and Christian thought, modern legal and political theory, and hermeneutics and the history of interpretation. She is currently completing three book projects, the first on the Jewish apostate and Catholic saint, Edith Stein, the second on the different afterlives of the book of Ecclesiastes, and the third on contemporary conversion controversies in Israel and India.
Cosponsors: Center for Austrian Studies, Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch, Department of Philosophy, Church Anew, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community, Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality, Temple Israel, St. Olaf Catholic Church, The Basilica of St. Mary