- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Anv edition (June 11, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801894123
- ISBN-13: 978-0801894121
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography Paperback – June 11, 2009
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Out of My Life and Thought is the autobiography of Albert Schweitzer, the theologian, musician, scientist, and medical missionary who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 (and donated his prize to build a leper colony). Schweitzer's autobiography is a masterful and motley blend of confession, narrative, adventure, and philosophy. The chapters about how he came to write The Quest for the Historical Jesus and The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle are indispensable summaries of and apologies for those books; the chapter called "I Resolve to Become a Jungle Doctor" is a model of Rilke-style life-changing decision; and the chapters on Bach and on organs are full of fascinating historical and mechanical detail. For contemporary readers, Out of My Life and Thought may be most compelling for its epilogue, which describes the ethical mysticism that Schweitzer called "Reverence for Life," which he achieved in his later years. The epilogue is full of stirringly Germanic passages such as the following: "Once man begins to think about the mystery of his life and the links connecting him with the life that fills the world, he cannot but accept, for his own life and all other life that surrounds him, the principle of Reverence for Life. He will act according to this principle of the ethical affirmation of life in everything he does. His life will become in every respect more difficult than if he lived for himself, but at the same time it will be richer, more beautiful, and happier. It will become, instead of mere living, a genuine experience of life." Because Schweitzer believed Christianity implied such world-encompassing reverence, he had the confidence and faith to "demand from Christianity that it reform itself in the spirit of sincerity and with thoughtfulness, so it may become conscious of its true nature." --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Even in our cynical age, the legendary story of jungle doctor Albert Schweitzer, self-sacrificingly devoted to the service of humanity, inspires. Out of print since the early 1970s, his classic autobiography, first published in 1933, speaks directly to modern readers in its searching appraisal of this "period of spiritual decline for mankind," an age in which science, technology and power seem divorced from ethical standards. In earnest prose Schweitzer discusses his research into primitive Christianity and his search for the historical Jesus; his love of Bach, "poet and painter in sound"; his fancy for rebuilding old church organs. His philosophy, which he called "Reverence for Life," blends mysticism and rationalism, with an impulse to release the "active ethic" he sees latent in Christianity. For this fluid new translation, Schweitzer's own corrections made between original publication and 1960 have been incorporated. Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"The man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give to every will-to-live the same reverence for life that he gives to his own. He experiences that other life in his own. He accepts as good preserving life, promoting life, developing all life that is capable of development to its highest possible value. He considers as evil destroying life, injuring life, repressing life that is capable of development. This is the absolute, fundamental principle of ethics, and it is a fundamental postulate of thought."
It was surprising and somewhat discouraging to me how little he wrote about his wife. There is a bit about her early on, but very little towards the end as he more fully engaged in his ministry. I think it is indicative of the health of their marriage over time.
There are a few places in the book I became disengaged, namely where he goes on about his work with Bach and with organs.
Overall though I am so grateful for the book, it's influence on me, and that he took the time to write it.
Very interesting life.