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Thistimely work is a major contribution to a global re-awakening of interest in one of the most important figures of the 20th century, a true moral giant. You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway. WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online. Don't have an account?

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Reverence for Life : Albert Schweitzer's Great Contribution to Ethical Thought.

It was not until two years after moving out to Gabon to establish the Albert Schweitzer Hospital that he finally found the simple statement which answered his quest. The essential element in civilization is the ethical perfecting of the individual as well as society. At the same time, every spiritual and every material step forward has significance for civilization.

The will to civilization is, then, the universal will to progress that is conscious of the ethical as the highest value. In spite of the great importance we attach to the achievements of science and human prowess, it is obvious that only a humanity that is striving for ethical ends can benefit in full measure from material progress and can overcome the dangers that accompany it The only possible way out of chaos is for us to adopt a concept of the world based on the ideal of true civilization.

Reverence for Life

But what is the nature of that concept of the world in which the will to the general progress and the will to the ethical progress join and are linked? What is affirmation of the world and of life? For months on end, I lived in a continual state of mental agitation. Without the least success I concentrated - even during my daily work at the hospital - on the real nature of the affirmation of life and of ethics, and on the question of what they have in common.

Review of "Reverence for Life: Albert Schweitzer's Great Contribution to Ethical Thought"

I was wandering about in a thicket where no path was to be found. I was pushing against an iron door that would not yield In that mental state, I had to take a long journey up the river.

Lost in thought, I sat on deck of the barge, struggling to find the elementary and universal concept of the ethical that I had not discovered in any philosophy. I covered sheet after sheet with disconnected sentences merely to concentrate on the problem. Late on the third day, at the very moment when, at sunset, we were making our way through a herd of hippopotamuses, there flashed upon my mind, unforeseen and unsought, the phrase: The path in the thicket had become visible.

Now I had found my way to the principle in which affirmation of the world and ethics are joined together! According to some authors, Schweitzer's thought, and specifically his development for reverence for life, was influenced by Indian religious thought and in particular Jain principle of ahimsa non-violence.

The laying down of the commandment to not kill and to not damage is one of the greatest events in the spiritual history of mankind. Starting from its principle, founded on world and life denial, of abstention from action, ancient Indian thought - and this is a period when in other respects ethics have not progressed very far - reaches the tremendous discovery that ethics know no bounds. So far as we know, this is for the first time clearly expressed by Jainism. It should not be overlooked, however, that as a child he felt deeply for the suffering of all the creatures around him.

It beat upon him. He wrote, "As far back as I can remember I was saddened by the amount of misery I saw in the world around me. Please note that ebooks are subject to tax and the final price may vary depending on your country of residence.

Reverence for Life

In , Albert Schweitzer left his internationally renowned career as a theologian, philosopher, and organ player to open a hospital in the jungles of Africa. There he developed in theory and practice his ethics of reverence for life. When he published his most important philosophical work, The Philosophy of Civilization , few people were serious about treating animals with dignity and giving any consideration to environmental issues.


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  • Reverence for Life: Albert Schweitzer's Great Contribution to Ethical Thought - Oxford Scholarship!
  • Reverence for Life - Wikipedia.
  • The Restoration of Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Vision: Predrag Cicovacki: Continuum.
  • Find a copy in the library?

Schweitzer's urge was heard but not fully appreciated. One hundred years later, we are in a better position to do it. Predrag Cicovacki's book is a call to restore Schweitzer's vision.