Reviews of and Quotes From Dr. Schweitzer's Books

Here are my reviews of some of Albert Schweitzer's books. It is far from a comprehensive list of Schweitzer's books. All are English translations from French or German. Some of them are out of print, but generally can be found in a good research library or by a book search from a good used-book dealer. Also included here are reviews of compilations of his writings. See The Albert Schweitzer Page for reviews of books about Dr. Schweitzer and related information.

A Treasury of Albert Schweitzer

Written By:  Albert Schweitzer

Edited By: Thomas Kiernan

Various Translators

Original Edition: Philosophical Library, 1965

Reviewed Edition:  Gramercy Books, 1994

Hardcover, 349 Pages

ISBN 0-517-116957-9


Table of Contents

This book is mostly a collection of quotes from Schweitzer's writings. I say "mostly" because the last 115 pages is an extended analysis by Schweitzer on Kant's philosophy of religion. Written in the kind of technical language normal for Kant and his ilk, it seems to me the kind of ivory tower philosophizing that Schweitzer normally avoids.

I did very much enjoy the first couple hundred pages. It is a collection of Schweitzer's writings, with items ranging from a paragraph to a few pages each. Many of the items are from rather obscure sources, some of which are not otherwise available in English.

Quotes from A Treasury of Albert Schweitzer

[Excerpt from the Goethe Prize Address, Delivered August 28, 1928] "Goethe's spirit places upon us three obligations. We must contend with the conditions of modern life so that men, who are about to have their humanity strangled by their work, may be able to preserve and enhance their spiritual lives. We must contend with men so that, in a time when external things make so great an impact on their lives, they can find the way to inwardness and persevere in it. And we have to wrestle with ourselves and with everyone else so that, in a time of confusion and inhumanity, we can remain true to the great humane ideals of the eighteenth century, translating them into the concepts of our day and advancing their realization."
[Excerpt from Selbstdarstellung] "The will to life that has become thought extends this behavior of Reverence for Life to all the will to life that comes within its range. This behavior makes man affirm life and the world and also makes him ethical. Ethics is not only behavior towards one's fellow men aimed at achieving a human society as happy and well ordered as possible. It is also the experience of a responsibility towards all living things, arising from an inner necessity."

Table of Contents of A Treasury of Albert Schweitzer

     Editor's Preface
  1. Reverence for Life
  2. The Light Within Us
  3. Pilgrimage to Humanity
  4. Philosophy of Religion
     Acknowledgments and Sources

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