(14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965)
was a French-German theologian, organist, philosopher, and
He was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of
the German Empire, though he considered himself French[ and wrote
mostly in French.
Schweitzer, a Lutheran, challenged both the secular view of Jesus
as depicted by historical-critical methodology
current at this time in certain academic circles,
as well as the traditional Christian view.
He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of
"Reverence for Life",
expressed in many ways, but most famously
in founding and sustaining the
Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné.
|As a music scholar
and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann
Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ reform movement (Orgelbewegung).
Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll
stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly, even if they roll a
few stones upon it.
The great fault of all ethics hitherto has been that they believed
themselves to have to deal only with the relations of man to man. In
reality, however, the question is what is his attitude to the world
and all life that comes within his reach. A man is ethical only when
life, as such, is sacred to him, and that of plants and animals as
that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all
life that is in need of help. Only the universal ethic of the feeling
of responsibility in an ever-widening sphere for all that livesonly
that ethic can be founded in thought. The ethic of Reverence for Life,
therefore, comprehends within itself everything that can be described
as love, devotion, and sympathy whether in suffering, joy, or effort.
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only