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UST Lecture Explores St. Edith Steinís Philosophy
Photo: Edith SteinThe intellectual legacy of the one of the Catholic Church’s most fascinating 20th century saints – the philosopher and Holocaust martyr Edith Stein – will be the focus of a Feb. 28 lecture at the University of St. Thomas.

The 4th Annual Zambosco-Thomas Memorial Lecture will feature Dr. Angela Ales Bello, an Italian philosopher and a leading authority on Stein, who was also known by her religious name, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

The story of Stein – a German Jew and philosopher whose search for the truth led her to Christianity, a Carmelite monastery and eventually death at the Auschwitz concentration camp – is known throughout the world. Stein was canonized in 1998 by Pope John Paul II.

In addition to her martyrdom and Christian witness, Stein left behind a serious body of work as she sought to bridge the Catholic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas with modern philosophical thought. Bello will address this contribution to philosophy in her lecture, “Edith Stein Between Husserl and St. Thomas Aquinas.”

Stein earned a doctorate in philosophy and studied under Edmund Husserl, a German philosopher and founder of the phenomenology school of thought. After becoming Catholic Stein studied and translated into German Aquinas’ writings and tried to connect Thomism with the new phenomenology.

She also wrote works on metaphysics, theology and mysticism – in particular the relation of mysticism and experience as forms of knowledge and intellectual inquiry. Stein’s sudden conversion came after reading the autobiography of the Spanish mystic St. Teresa of Avila.

Bello has written extensively on Stein’s thought and edited the Italian translation of Stein’s collected works. She speaks to Catholic groups throughout Italy and her lecture is intended to deepen appreciation for one of the 20th century’s most important Catholic philosophers.

Bello is a former professor and philosophy dean at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and currently serves as director of the Center for Research in Phenomenology.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be in the Ahern Room of UST’s Crooker Center, 3909 Graustark and begins at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday Feb. 28.

The annual Zambosco-Thomas Memorial Lecture is named after Dr. Elsa Zambosco-Thomas, a professor at UST who taught Spanish and Spanish literature for 30 years before she died in 2009.

She was also director of UST’s Women, Culture and Society Program, which sponsors the lecture. For more information, contact Kathleen Haney at

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