Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ALBERT SCHWEITZER ~ January 14, 1875 ~ September 4, 1965

Albert Schweitzer (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was an Alsatian German-French theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. He was born in Kaysersberg in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, from 1871 to 1918 in the German Empire. Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at his time in certain academic circles, as well as the traditional Christian view, depicting a Jesus Christ who expected and predicted the imminent end of the world. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life", expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ reform movement (Orgelbewegung).

Schweitzer's passionate quest was to discover a universal ethical philosophy, anchored in a universal reality, and make it directly available to all of humanity. This is reflected in some of his sayings, such as:

"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace."

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

Image &

My father used to have an oil portrait of Albert Schweitzer in his church office study. It had been painted by a Pennsylvania State Penitentiary prisoner-- in for life-- for murder. It was a very handsome, well painted portrait, based on the photograph above.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)