Feeling and Its Theological Relevance in the Formation of the Human Person According to Edith Stein

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91 (2):175-198 (2017)
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Abstract

The present study clarifies the theological importance of feeling in the formation of a person, as Edith Stein understands it. Feeling constitutes the originating dimension of the finite spirit, disclosing the dynamic pair of thinking and willing while being capable of anticipating infinite Spirit. A finite spirit is a most real and authentic incarnate spirit when it comprehends itself as stemming from God. The foundations of this formation are to be found in the ontic, historical, dynamic relationship between finite spirit and the Infinite Spirit, who anticipates finite spirit answering to an “image” logos (Bild ) as one who is led toward a “full similitude” (Gleichnis) to God by the Holy Spirit. The longing of the finite for the infinite manifests itself in the dynanimic relations between feeling, intelligence, and willing. Guided by these fundamental insights, Edith Stein teaches that the relationship between Bildung and Ausbildung constitutes a process of divinization based in a loving dialogue.

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