Albert Schweitzer : a biography by Nils Ole Oermann

By Nils Ole Oermann

This biography offers a flexible perception into the lifestyles, paintings, and regarded Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965). Nils Ole Oermann bargains an in depth account of the multifaceted lifetime of Albert Schweitzer who used to be a theologian, organist, thinker, health practitioner, and clinical missionary. Schweitzer's lifestyles used to be now not a directly course from the parsonage in Alsace to the college of Strasbourg, then directly to the clinic in Read more...

summary: This biography presents a flexible perception into the existence, paintings, and regarded Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965). Nils Ole Oermann bargains a close account of the multifaceted lifetime of Albert Schweitzer who was once a theologian, organist, thinker, health professional, and clinical missionary. Schweitzer's existence used to be no longer a immediately course from the parsonage in Alsace to the college of Strasbourg, then directly to the medical institution in Lambarene, and finishing with the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. In each existence there are highs and lows, victories and defeats, and Schweitzer's lifestyles used to be no exception. those ups and downs, in spite of the fact that, are slightly discernible in Schweitzer's 1931 autobiography, Out of my existence and inspiration, the place he provides his lifestyles as a huge, purposefully built edifice, the cornerstone of which used to be the main of Reverence for all times, and the virtually inevitable end result of which was once the Nobel Peace Prize. to this point, biographers, newshounds, and hagiographers have instructed and retold the tale of Schweitzer following this simple development with rather little serious amendment. Their Schweitzer used to be a guy whose manner and air of secrecy set him except different highbrow giants of his time. yet no longer every little thing Schweitzer documents in his autobiography corresponds with what's present in the records and in his unpublished writings. it truly is at the foundation of those historic assets and more moderen guides that Oermann makes an attempt to cartoon a extra real looking photo of Albert Schweitzer. Oermann attracts on newly exposed own papers which make clear Schweitzer's dealings with the East German gurus and his function within the anti-nuclear circulate. He additionally builds on a few interviews from these linked to Schweitzer, such a lot significantly his daughter

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11 His music teacher was the master organist Eugen Münch, who had left the Academy of Music in Berlin to take OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 30/8/2016, SPi 8 Albert Schweitzer up a position at St Stephen’s church in Mulhouse. He was so satisfied with his student’s progress that after only one year of lessons the 16-year-old Albert Schweitzer was again able to substitute for his teacher as an organist at church services. What appeared to be the ability of a naturally gifted musician was in fact the result of hard work, and Schweitzer faced many setbacks.

Kant and the Study of Philosophy After his examinations in theology on 2 May 1898, Albert Schweitzer concentrated on writing the thesis for his doctoral degree in philosophy. His topic was the religious philosophy of Kant and had been suggested to him by his professor, Theobald Ziegler, on a rainy day during a walk they took together under Ziegler’s umbrella. Schweitzer set himself the task of exploring the structure and genesis of Kant’s philosophy of religion. It made for a complex undertaking, as Kant’s philosophy of religion is difficult to integrate systematically into his broader thinking.

58 Schweitzer was obviously painfully aware that his doctoral thesis in philosophy would not make him a fully-fledged academic philosopher. After some months in Paris he must also have recognized that his study of Kant—unlike The Quest of the Historical Jesus or the biography of Bach that would follow—would never become a major work, at least among academics. It hardly comes as a surprise then that he would keep a lifelong critical distance from the practice of academic philosophy, and decades later would criticize it as removed from the world, a ‘scholarly imitation of philosophy’: It still played, indeed, some sort of role in schools and universities, but it no longer had any message for the larger world.

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