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An Investigation Concerning the State by Edith Stein
October 11, 18, 25, and November 1
A four-week reading group through An Investigation Concerning the State by Edith Stein with Dr. William Tullius.
The group will meet over Zoom on Wednesdays (October 11, 18, 25, and November 1st) at 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET.
About the Text
Any state exists only for the benefit of human beings. This basic tenet of Edith Stein’s political thought rests on her conviction that humanity is fundamentally one community, precious beyond measure. Differences of race, culture, and language offer us means to grasp the values of life uniquely so that we may share them universally, reaching across all such social boundaries. Stein wrote this treatise in the early days of the Weimar Republic, shortly after the First World War. It sets forth a philosophy of law, government, and administration that is at once idealistic and practical. What is right, Stein argues, does not arise from legislation or litigation or politics. Right relations, as such, are more basic than any institution. Here, too, are Stein’s first serious discussions of religious issues such as quilt, expiation, and freedom of conscience. This is the philosophical work that immediately preceded her decision to be baptized on January 1, 1922. Whether ironically or predictably, Stein was put to death twenty years later by a state that brazenly defied nearly every principle that she had defended in this treatise. In death she bore personal witness to the unity and dignity of the human race. She perished with her people, Jews and Christians alike, at Auschwitz in August 1942.
If you purchase your copy here by September 30 and use the code “SUMMER23” at checkout, you will receive 50% off your purchase.
The meeting will be conducted live in Zoom. Links for the session will be sent out ahead of time.
To allow for rich discussion, the group is limited in size to a maximum of 20 participants. Once the group is full, additional registrations will be placed on a waitlist.
All participants are expected to have a copy of the text and to come prepared to each session having done the weekly reading (15-45+ pages per week). The weekly reading schedule will be e-mailed to you.
William Tullius holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research and is currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at American Public University System. His main areas of research revolve around the development of a phenomenological ethical theory through the study of such phenomenological thinkers as Edmund Husserl, Max Scheler, and Edith Stein. He is currently working on a book on Edith Stein’s moral philosophy titled Outlines of Morality: On the Ethical Philosophy of Edith Stein, which is expected to be published in Spring/Summer 2024 by Lexington Books as part of the series Edith Stein Studies.
Reading groups are free to attend.
If you are able, we invite you to make a donation to help defray the costs of organizing (reading groups cost the Hildebrand Project ~$900 for a four-week group). We are committed to making reading groups accessible to all; therefore, participation is not contingent on a donation.
Your gift support this reading group, our publications, web resources, and other events, all of which contribute to bringing the vital, life-giving witness of personalist philosophy into new and uncertain times.
Suitable for intermediate philosophy students: primarily discussion.
Week 1: Pages 1-37
Week 2: Pages 37-104
Week 3: 104-145
Session 4: 147-193
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM