Edith Stein

Jewish woman, catholic saint, philosopher, feminist, Carmelite

Edith Stein is perhaps one of the most controversial women to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. She was the first Jewish-born Christian to be added to the roster of the saints since the days of the early church. She was put to death in the Nazi Concentration Camp of Auschwitz on  August 9, 1942. Stein, one of the first few women to be admitted to a German university, converted to Catholicism at the age of 30 and eventually entered the contemplative Discalced Carmelite Order.

In contrast to many converts, she never denied her Jewish background and consistently reminded others of it. Rather than hiding behind her conversion, she prepared herself to share the fate of her people. Stein was an active feminist, concerned with women’s suffrage and rights since she was a university student. She believed that women were capable of intellectual achievement and deserved equal rights, including statements about women becoming priests, which she presents in her writings.

In this workshop we will look at Stein’s life, the circumstances of her death and canonization, and her deep understanding of empathy, the value of the human person, and the importance of trusting that God is with us through it all. We will also feature contemplative harp music by Linda Hill-Phoenix.

This program is being offered free of charge.

We invite you to contribute what you can so that we can continue to provide these opportunities.

Edith Stein Workshop

September 25, 2021

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (pacific time) via zoom

Presenter: Oliva M. Espín

Oliva  M.  Espín

Oliva M. Espín, PhD, is Professor Emerita in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University. Dr. Espín was a pioneer in the practice and theory of feminist psychology and psychotherapy with women from different cultural backgrounds, for which she has received multiple awards from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Women in Psychology and other professional organizations. A native of Cuba, she received her BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and her PhD from the University of Florida. She did post-doctoral work at Harvard University with a fellowship from NIMH, studying Latina healers. Dr. Espín held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.

Throughout her career, she has taught psychology of women, the psychology of immigrants and refugees, women saints, and other topics. She has presented at national and international conferences and published many articles and books on psychology and psychotherapy of Latinas, women immigrant and refugees, women’s sexuality, language in therapy with fluent bilinguals, historical memory and memoir, feminist and psychological understandings of the lives and writings of women saints. She recently published Gendered Journeys: Women, Migration, and Feminist Psychology (2015). Her most recent books are Women, Sainthood, and Power: A Feminist Psychology of Cultural Constructions (2019) and My Native Land is Memory: Stories of a Cuban Childhood (2020), which won the 2021 San Diego Book Award.