This module is part of the Distance Learning Website of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI)


A short introduction to Edith Stein is provided by Robert Opala OCD in his “Edith Stein: Spirituality of the Cross and the Holocaust Experience,” module 7D in Cibi’s Adult Education Diploma in Carmelite Studies. Elisabeth Mitchell provides a more detailed treatment is her “Edith Stein OCD,” which is module C8 in Cibi’s Diploma in Carmelite Studies. Building on the foundation provided by those modules, this module, “Reading Edith Stein,” is designed to enable students to engage critically with the writings of Edith Stein and to develop the capacity for independent research and study on those writings at postgraduate level.

            Born a Jew, Edith Stein studied philosophy and psychology before being converted to Christianity, achieving a significant profile as a Catholic feminist, and joining an enclosed Carmelite monastery. She was put to death in the concentration camp at Auschwitz in the early hours of Sunday, August 9, 1942. Canonised as a virgin, religious, and martyr, she was made one of the co-patronesses of Europe in 1999.

            The ten units will explore the different kinds of writing that Stein has left us, including her autobiographical writings (units 1, 2, 3 and 6), her philosophical writings (units 4 and 7), her writings on Christian feminism (unit 5), her writings on Carmelite saints (units 6 and 9), her writings on Religious Life (unit 8), and her poetry (unit 10).


The assigned reading for each of the ten units of this module is listed in the table below. In their submitted assessments, students should will be expected to show that they have engaged with the relevant assigned reading. This material will be made available as part of the module but you might consider locating some background reading material on Edith Stein in the library of one of the houses of the Carmelite friars or nuns that is located near you.


Assigned Reading


Teresia Renata de Spiritu Sancto Posselt OCD, “Home,” chapter 1 (pp. 3-11) of Teresia Renata de Spiritu Sancto Posselt OCD, Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite. Authorized and Revised Biography by Her Prioress Sister Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D. (Text, Commentary and Explanatory Notes), Edited by Susanne M. Batzdorff. Josephine Koeppel and John Sullivan ed. (Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 2005).


Section 1, pp. 239-270, of chapter 7 (pp. 239-317), “Student Years in Göttingen” in Edith Stein, Life in a Jewish Family, Trivandrum: Carmelite Publishing Centre, 1998.


Subsections “m” to “p” of section 5 (pp. 84-89) of chapter 3, pp. 38-90, of Edith Stein, The Problem of Empathy, Trivandrum: Carmelite Publishing Centre, 1998.


Edith Stein, “Woman’s Intrinsic Value in National Life”, pp. 95-108 of Chapter 4, ‘Woman and Women,’ in Edith Stein: Essential Writings, edited by John Sullivan OCD, New York: Orbis, 1970, pp. 94-123.


Edith Stein, “The Church, Woman, and Youth,” chapter 6, pp. 237-252, in Edith Stein, Woman, The Collected Works of Edith Stein, volume 2, translated by Freda Mary Oben, Trivandrum: Carmel Publishing Centre, 1998; Chapter 4, "Edith Stein's Philosophy of the Woman," in Freda Mary Oben, The Life and Thought of St. Edith Stein, New York: Alba House, 2001, pp. 67-85.


Edith Stein, “The Road to Carmel,” chapter 11 (pp. 116-132) in Sr Teresia de Spiritu Sancto OCD, Edith Stein, translated by Cecily Hastings and Donald Nicholl, London & New York, Sheed and Ward, 1952.


Section 7 (pp. 55-60) of chapter 2, pp. 31-60, in Edith Stein, Finite and Eternal Being, Washington D.C.: ICS Publications, 2002; Chapter 13, "Edith Stein's Philosophy: The Nature and Structure of the Person," in Waltraud Herbstrith, Edith Stein: A Biography, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1971, pp. 79-85.


Sections 2 and 3 (pp. 94-101) of chapter 3, pp. 91-104, in Edith Stein, The Hidden Life, Trivandrum: Carmelite Publishing Centre, 1998.


Chapters 3, “Taking Up One’s Cross,” of Stein’s The Science of the Cross, Washington D.C.: ICS Publications, 2002, pp. 43-55; Chapter 8, "Edith Stein since her Death: The Jewish-Catholic Dialogue," in Sarah Borden, Edith Stein. London - New York: Continuum, 2003, pp. 135-143.


The poem, “Seven Beams from a Pentecost Novena,” which is on pp. 92-99 of chapter 3, “Poems and Prayers,” pp. 33-102, in Suzanne Batzdorff, Edith Stein: Selected Writings, Springfield, Illinois: Templegate, 1990.

Module Tutor: Patrick Mullins OCarm


The module is divided into 10 units, with a formative assessment and two questionnaires, spread over the period of the module, and a final examination at the end.

Once posted, each unit will be available until the end of the module. The dates on which each of the units, and the other material for this module is available in the calendar in the Student Section.








Formative Assessment



























Examination Questions

Please click HERE to access the STUDENT SECTION for module start and end dates

During the listed dates, you can click on the relevant unit to access it. Once you have successfully accessed and studied the material in each set of units, please click on the relevant Formative Assessment or Questionnaire to access it when it is launched. Read the questions and write your answers under each question. Then upload your answers to the Turnitin website.

One question must be chosen from the three final Examination Questions posted and your paper answering the question of your choice should be uploaded to the Turnitin website by the required date.



The author of the course holds the copyright to this material (text, graphic and other); distribution to family or friends, or publication (including on internet) of any part of the material is not permitted without the author’s explicit written permission.

© Patrick Mullins OCarm and Cibi