With so much negativity these days related to my alma mater, I’m thrilled to help spread the good news about something truly wonderful that is happening soon at Notre Dame – this year’s Edith Stein Project. This student organized event is a great thing to support if you’re living anywhere in the area. I hope next year to be at the event, but in the mean time wanted to share some information for those of you who can make it to campus.
This year’s agenda looks fantastic. Here are the details from this year’s press release:
The Edith Stein Project is an annual, student-run conference at the University of Notre Dame that sprung from a recognition of widespread degradation of the dignity of women and aims to both identify these degradations and recover a true understanding of masculinity and femininity. In contemporary society, there exists a significant movement towards the objectification of relationships and sexuality, which affects women in a profound and unique way. This trend has caused a crisis in the recognition of true dignity and identity of the human person, leaving many people physically, emotionally, and spiritually broken. While this phenomenon affects the world at large, this crisis is strikingly evident in relationships most immediate to us: personal friendships, marriages, and families. Human dignity, of both men and women, is always realized in community and reference to each other. As Pope Benedict noted in his most recent Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, “As a spiritual being, the human creature is defined through interpersonal relations. The more authentically he or she lives these relations, the more his or her own personal identity matures, (53).” For this reason, this year’s conference will focus on women and men in community with one another.
St. Edith Stein, the patroness of the conference, took an interest in the philosophical study of human identity, gender, and relationships, writing about the nature of men and woman, the individual and community, and human empathy. This year, the Edith Stein Project will examine the role of human relationships in the unique identity of each person, considering what it truly means to be a man or a woman while utilizing the riches of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and authentic personhood. The conference will include presentations on a wide variety of topics, including masculinity and femininity, marriage, the family, sexual violence, and eating disorders. We hope that the conference will compel individuals to examine the true meaning of what it is to be human, and ways in which authentic human dignity is upheld, taking to heart Edith Stein’s words: “The nation… doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.”
We invite you to join in the discussion of human identity and relationships at the fifth annual Edith Stein Project, entitled “No Man is an Island: Creature, Culture, and Community.”