Albert Schweitzer's (1875-1965) system of ethical mysticism is based primarily upon Christ's injunction, "Love the Lord thy God first and thy neighbor as thyself." He writes, "I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. That is the beginning and foundation of all ethics." Assembled by Meyer (Bible & Christian studies, Chapman Univ.) and the late Bergel (emeritus, Chapman Univ.), founder of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, this eclectic collection of essays is intended as both an appreciation of Schweitzer and a critical review of his ethics and metaphysics. Included here are papers from the 1999 conference "Albert Schweitzer at the Turn of the Millennium," snippets of letters from Schweitzer and his wife-to-be, as well as a sermon, a childhood memoir, and several important essays by Schweitzer. The book also contains an introduction to Jainism (owing to its related ethic of nonviolence and reverence for life) and several undergraduate essays. Those without an in-depth understanding of Schweitzer's pacifistic yet sometimes sentimental and subjective processes will struggle with the many dissonant voices here, but Schweitzer scholars might find a few items of merit. Buy only where Schweitzer scholarship warrants.
Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., Pittsburgh
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
An inherently impressive selection of profound essays by humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, enhanced by an eclectic variety of soul-searching commentaries on his thoughts and recommendations. . . . Highly recommended as life affirming, fundamental and thoughtfully constructed reading. (The Midwest Book Review)