A nothing that is: Edith Stein on being without essence

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (1):71-86 (2008)
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Abstract

St. Thomas Aquinas has been considered a kairos in intellectual history for seeing God’s essence as being. Martin Heidegger criticized philosophers forrepresenting being as a be-ing and identifying it with God, and Jean-Luc Marion speaks of “God without being.” In her Potency and Act Edith Stein introduced thecategory of being without essence, but such being is not God but “the opposite.” For St. Augustine sin was an approach to nonbeing, and Stein saw it leading to a“displacement into nonbeing,” to an “annihilation” where only a “null being” is retained. This eschatological reflection is an intriguing aspect of her “fusion” ofscholasticism and phenomenology

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