MacIntyre is by any reckoning one of the major British philosophers of the post war years. Any new book from him is eagerly awaited and very widely reviewed. MacIntyre is a convert to Roman Catholicism. Edith Stein was an intellectual of considerable importance in the period between the two World Wars. The fact that she was also canonised as a Saint is truly remarkable. A Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism, she died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The ingredients of Stein's intellectual and personal history have proved irresistible to Alistair MacIntyre. In this study of Stein's development as a theologian and philosopher, MacIntyre has revealed many of the fundamental issues in both disciplines and in their cross fertilisation. Stein was a pupil of the phenomenological philosopher Edmund Husserl. She then sought in her own writing to interpret phenomenology in a Thomistic way. In this, she was as original and innovative as were the Catholic philosophers - such as Peter Geach and Elizabeth Anscome- who made similar interpretations of the work of Wittgenstein in this country.
Stein believed with Husserl that all knowledge claims could be properly grounded openly in phenomenology and she was concerned to articulate the connection between the human and the natural sciences. Her published essays focused largely on the structure of the person and a careful articulation of the essential nature of community and its basis in our nature as persons. This is a book of greatest importance.
Alasdair MacIntyre is Senior Research Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame. He is the author of several bestselling books, including After Virtue, Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, and A Short History of Ethics (a Routledge Classic).