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Edward George Baring
Drew University (Madison, NJ 07940-1434)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013

The Spread of Phenomenology in Europe during the 20th Century

In the middle decades of the twentieth century Phenomenology broke with the parochialism of much modern philosophy to spread across Europe. This diaspora, with its apparent neglect of linguistic and national borders, makes phenomenology so fascinating. My research draws attention to the international communities of Christian scholars that facilitated the expansion of phenomenology beyond its initial base in a few German university towns. Networks of Thomist scholars and their opponents acted as conduits for the dissemination of phenomenological ideas, whether into Poland, where in 1954 a young Karol Wojtyla (the future John Paul II) tried to reformulate phenomenological ethics, or into Belgium, where Père Herman Van Breda transported the Husserl archives in 1938 to save them from the Nazis. Far from being a reactionary force in intellectual life, the Catholic Church provided the transnational connections necessary for the constitution of a truly continental philosophy.