Three Women in Dark Times: Edith Stein, Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil

ISBN 10: 0801435722 / ISBN 13: 9780801435720
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Synopsis: Courtine-Denamy (author of Hannah Arendt ) follows her subjects three women who were philosophers of Jewish descent from 1933 to 1943, exploring how they all attempted to address the issues confronting them. Condemned to exile, they sought not only to understand the horrible reality of the Nazi era, but to make peace with it. Stein (who died in Auschwitz in 1942) and Weil encouraged a stoic acceptance of necessity, while Arendt argued for the capacity for renewal and the need to fight against the banality of evil. Originally published in French in 1997. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Review: "The darkness of the decade 1933-1943 was at least partially illumined by the energetic syntheses of thought and action that Courtine-Denamy skillfully examines in the three remarkable women of this book's subtitle. What animates the comparison are stark differences overlaid on basic similarities. . . . Highly readable."―Publishers Weekly. August 21, 2000.

"Courtine-Denamy sympathizes with Arendt's stance, but she presents Weil's amor fati with exemplary clarity. Her incisive work is highly recommended for larger public and academic libraries."―Library Journal, October 1, 2000.

"A fascinating and powerful account. . . I recommend Courtine-Denamy's book highly. It inspires one to delve more deeply into the study of these three women and their 'dark times.'"―Michael J. Kerlin,La Salle University. Theological Studies, Vol. 62, No. 2, September 2001

"This dense and important book is an absorbing presentation of the lives and thinking of Edith Stein, Hannah Arendt, and Simone Weil, three brilliant 20th-century philosophers who remain influential today. . . Her book should be a springboard for those who wish to continue to read and carry on the work of the brave, clear-sighted women she has helped her readers understand."―Sally Cunneen. National Catholic Reporter, April 13, 2001

"Courtine-Denamy sets them against the travail of Europe from 1933 to 1943. . . The treatment of each thinker individually, comparatively, and with respect to her understanding of this travail is striking, insightful and sophisticated but not meant to be comprehensive."―Choice, Vol. 38, No. 11, July 2001

"In this engaging and absorbing book, Sylvie Courtine-Denamy interweaves the stories of three extraordinary women who lived through the darkest period of the Twentieth Century. Each of them was born a Jew, but reacted in radically different ways to her Jewish background. Arendt positively affirmed herself as a Jew; Weil became a Christian but never joined the Church; Stein became a nun and died in Auschwitz. Each of them was extremely precocious and studied philosophy with some of the most distinguished philosophers of the time. After exploring their childhood and youth, Courtine-Denamy follows their destinies, year by year, from 1933 through 1943. A moving, passionate, and informative account of three women intellectuals confronting the Nazi horrors." ―Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

"Sylvie Courtine-Denamy's narrative of the intellectual, cultural, and political contributions of these extraordinary women situates their work within the rise of European totalitarianism and anti-Semitism, revealing not only their personal tragedies but also their outspoken courage on behalf of others and their enduring legacies as writers, teachers, and activists. Three Women in Dark Times is a compelling study of the darkest decades of the twentieth century."―Shari Benstock, University of Miami

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