Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Thomas J Nenon

Committee Member

Hoke Robinson

Committee Member

Deborah Tollefsen

Committee Member

Kas Saghafi


Dr. Edith Stein (Sr. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce in religious life) devoted her major philosophical treatise to three things: (1) a confrontation of medieval philosophy, exemplified by Thomas Aquinas, with contemporary philosophy, exemplified by Edmund Husserl; (2) a response to Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time"; and (3) an attempt to ascend to the meaning of being for all of reality, both finite and eternal.She believed that a Christian philosophy was possible--one that made use of revealed truth in the quest for a reasoned understanding of all that is. She believed that the phenomenological method provided a bridge to the medieval philosophical system of Thomas Aquinas.She wanted to share with her philosophical contemporaries the wealth that she had discovered in Catholic philosophy by "transposing" the ideas of one culture and time into her own. The task that she undertook was enormous. Like a true scientist, she left the notes of her experiments and discoveries so that those who followed behind her could take up research for their own. Because the work could not be published in her lifetime, she was never able to revise and focusit in light of the response that should have been its right, and the work was neglected for number of years.As the result of her canonization by the Roman Catholic Church in 1998, however, a great deal of effort is being made now to make her work better known in philosophical circles and to carry through the projects that she proposed. This dissertation is intended as a contribution to that effort. It provides an introduction to "Finite and Eternal Being" by including chapters on Edith Stein's philosophical formation and method, historical background and context, and the reception of the work upon its publication. The core of the dissertation consists in two chapters devoted to a fairly careful reading of two themes within the work, those of being and person. The conclusion suggests areas for further research. The dissertation is intended to provide a way for students of phenomenology who are unfamiliar with Thomism, and for students of Thomism who are unfamiliar with phenomenology, to take up the work for themselves.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.