Reviews of and Quotes From Dr. Schweitzer's Books

Here is my review of a book about Dr. Schweitzer. All the books I review are in English. Many of them are out of print, but generally can be found by a book search from a good used-book dealer. See The Albert Schweitzer Page for links to my reviews of books written by Dr. Schweitzer as well as other related information.

In Albert Schweitzer's Realms: A Symposium

Edited By: A.A. Roback 
Edition: Sci-Art Publishers, Cambridge 
Hardcover, 441 pages

No ISBN Shown


Table of Contents

This book is a festschrift, or tribute, to Albert Schweitzer. It contains many, mostly short, essays written by famous men (and one woman). Some describe their meetings with or inspiration by Schweitzer, while others are ruminations on topics related to one of Schweitzer's many interests. As always with such volumes, the quality of the contributions varies. Among the best essays are those by Homer Jack, Paul Tillich, George Seaver and Amos Wilder. There are also a number of interesting photographs and drawings of Schweitzer.

This book was self-published, after a publisher backed out of a promise to publish. Roback indicates that they required too many changes and edits. Frankly, more editorial changes would have improved the volume. For instance, I fail to see the value in including letters from Adlai Stevenson and Jawaharlal Nehru which just politely decline to submit an essay for the volume. And Roback's own "playlet" Scenes in a Great Life is irritating and needless. Most egregiously, Roback felt the need to alter and to provide a detailed reply to W.E.B. Du Bois's fiery essay, in which Du Bois slightly criticizes Schweitzer for not doing more to promote African education but dramatically condemns white and capitalist oppression in Africa. I suppose Roback gets some credit for inviting Du Bois's essay, but his detailed response (the only one in the volume) in which he critiques Du Bois's argument point-for-point is uncalled for.

The production values are good, and as noted some of the essays are interesting. The book will, nevertheless, only appeal to the most die-hard of Schweitzer fans.

Quotes from In Albert Schweitzer's Realms:

[from The Popularity of Albert Schweitzer by Homer A. Jack] "Schweitzer's greatness lies in other directions. It grows out of his being the sum of everything we want to be, but are not. It grows out of his doing the sum of everything we want to do, but dare not. He is to us, unconciously perhaps, our ideal of what twentieth-century man could become--what we ourselves could become--if temptations of power and self did not hopelessly compromise our youthful ideals. ... The living example of his triumph of idealism over realism and of will over habit moves us as few men in our time have done."

[from The Amazon Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Pucallpa, Peru] "You confessed clearly to mysticism. However, it is for you neither starting-point nor postulate, but the logical result of your intrepid reflection. It is the honest admission of a rationalist, that we come closest to the 'last' questions only in the reverence for the mystical 'from-where and where-to' of that voice in us, that challenges us to be 'others-than-the-world,' others than the extra- and pre-spiritual life that surrounds us and of which we also are a part, without, however, being absorbed into it. Ethical questions are for you not 'last,' but the first and most important questions. ... Knowledge engenders sorrow, especially when it reaches the impassable limits which defy our intellectual powers."

[from The Natural and the Spiritual by George Seaver] "The eschatological perspective is the temporally conditioned world view in which the Life was manifested and the Truth that is eternal was incarnate among men. If historically it has proved illusory, nevertheless to the spiritually awakened it speaks as no other world-view can. For to a deeper view, that Kingdom, which as a cosmological event has never dawned, is notwithstanding, an ever-present inward reality, a spiritual crisis which is always at hand."

[from Can Religion Survive? by Paul Tillich] "In the occidental world, theological apologists have tried in vain to recommend religion as a probable and useful hypothesis to explain the world and to foster moral activities. A God who has become a probable or possible hypothesis is not God at all. It is blasphemous to give the name of God to such a hypothetical being, and certainly it will not help religion to survive. The same is true of His moral usefulness. A God who is used for any purpose except Himself is not God but a dangerous fiction, even if that purpose is morality."

[from 'When Saw I Thee Sick?' by George T. Keating] "When [Schweitzer was] asked his secret for happiness, he replied, 'Good health and the ability to forget.'"

[from Schweitzer's Outlook on History by W. E. Hocking] "There is no conflict of science and religion when each knows its role. Advance leads to atheism only when the god denied is a Lie; and much current atheism--like that of Camus--is the denial of a false god."

Table of Contents of In Albert Schweitzer's Realms


    Part I: Personal Appreciations and Reminiscences
  1. An Intimate Greeting from the Former President of the West German Republic by Theodor Heuss
  2. Bishop Söderblom and Albert Schweitzer by State Minister J. O. Söderblom
  3. Christmas Eve at Lambarene by Emmy Martin
  4. Personal Glimpses During an Extensive Trip by Erica Anderson
  5. A Cabled Greeting to Dr. Schweitzer, in 1955 by President Eisenhower
  6. A Valedictory by Alfonso Reyes
  7. Homage to Albert Schweitzer by Jean Rostand
  8. A Letter from Adlai Stevenson
  9. Part II: Schweitzeriana
  10. Scenes in a Great Life by A. A. Roback
  11. Symbolic Design by Jean Cocteau
  12. The Popularity of Albert Schweitzer by Homer A. Jack
  13. A Letter and a Cabled Greeting to Dr. Schweitzer by Prime Minister Nehru
  14. In the Presence of Albert Schweitzer by A. A. Roback
  15. The Iconography of Albert Schweitzer by A. A. Roback
  16. Part III: In the Realm of Music
  17. Appreciation by Alfred Cortot
  18. Joseph Haydn and the Rise of "Classic Music" by Paul Schrade
  19. Albert Schweitzer's Service to Music by Jacques Feschotte
    E. Nies-berger Relates
  20. Thoughts On Revisiting Gunsbach by Alice Ehlers
  21. Part IV: In the Domain of Law, Ethics and Civilization
  22. World Law or World Police by Roscoe Pound
  23. Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Conception by Professor Giorgio Del Vecchio
  24. Man Sublime at the Brink of an Abyss by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
  25. Wherein Do We Differ? by Father Dominique Pire
  26. Schweitzer's Outlook on History by W. E. Hocking
  27. On Naturalistic Ethics by Professor JAcques Maritain
  28. Schweitzer's Practical Moral Judgments by Professor Paul A. Schlipp
  29. Whites in Africa After Negro Autonomy by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois
  30. Citation at Emerson College on Occasion of Dr. Schweitzer's 80th Anniversary by A. A. Roback
  31. 'When Saw I Thee Sick?' by George T. Keating
  32. Part V: From the Medical World
  33. A Letter of Greeting by Georges Duhamel
  34. Culture and Vitality by Professor Ernst Kretschmer
  35. The Meaning of Albert Schweitzer's Life to Medicine by Professor Dana L. Farnsworth
  36. Pictures in Color Taken in Lambarene by Dr. Paul Dudley White
  37. A Psychoanalyst Looks Up At Albert Schweitzer by Dr. Martin Grotjahn
  38. Letter by Dr. Tom Dooley
  39. Letter by Dr. Noel Gillespie
  40. Part VI: The Spiritual Sphere
  41. Can Religion Survive? by Paul Tillich
  42. Religion and Human Rights by Professor Martin Werner
  43. The Natural and the Spiritual by Dr. George Seaver
  44. The Cultivated Man and the Christian Man by Professor Roland Bainton
  45. Albert Schweitzer and the New Testment by Professor Amos Wilder
  46. Part VII: World Roads Leading from Lambarene (Institutions Inspired by Dr. Schweitzer)
  47. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship by Dr. Emory Ross
  48. Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti by Dr. Larimer Mellon
  49. The Albert Schweitzer College in Churwalden by Hans Casparis
  50. The Albert Schweitzer Education Foundation by George Seaver
  51. The Amazonico Hospital Albert Schweitzer by Dr. E. Gaine Cannon
  52. How the Albert Schweitzer Memorial Hospital Came Into Being by Dr. E. Gaine Cannon
  53. Ten Years of 'Friends of Albert Schweitzer' by Miriam Rogers
  54. Appendix
  55. Albert Schweitzer's Impact on America by A. A. Roback
  56. Epilogue
Register of Personal Names
Topical Index

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