ABSTRACT

One of the noteworthy consequences of Husserlian phenomenology was that it gave rise to quite divergent philosophical developments and elaborations in the work of his students. is applies in particular to the religious-philosophical projects of Edith Stein1 and Martin Heidegger. Stein, Husserl’s private assistant, born Jewish and a convert to Roman Catholicism in 1922, attempted to

1. Edith Stein (October 12, 1891-August 9, 1942; born in Breslau (Wroclaw), Poland; died in Auschwitz Concentration Camp) was educated at the University of Göttingen (doctorate, 1916). Her in uences included Catholic theology (Aquinas) and mysticism (Teresa of Ávila), Heidegger, and Husserl. She held appointments at the Universities of Freiburg (1916-19) and Göttingen (1919-22), Dominican Girls School, Speyer, Germany (1922-32), Discalced

“Christian philosophy” (oriented by Catholicism) is supposed to nd its ful llment in theology, but without conceiving itself as theology and without making theological claims.2 In contrast, Heidegger, who followed her as Husserl’s assistant, grew out of Catholicism to advocate a fundamental methodical atheism in philosophy, rejecting Christian philosophy, in “Phenomenology and eology” (1927/28), as an impossibility, as a “square circle.”3 For Heidegger, unlike Stein, theology requires philosophy, namely, as a “guiding corrective”; philosophy, however, in no way requires theology in order to be philosophy.4 How can the speci city of these disparate options, which ultimately are mutually exclusive, be more closely determined? e resolution of this question is important. In fact, it will be shown that the disagreement that emerged between Stein and Heidegger in the question of a “Christian philosophy” marks something like a foundational rupture and, at the same time, a basic structure in the eld of debates presented here.