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Albert Schweitzer
German theologian, musician, philosopher, physician, medical missionary and humanitarian
(1875-1965)



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Late on the third day, at the very moment when, at sunset, we were making our way through a herd of hippopotamuses, there flashed upon my mind, unforseen and unsought, the phrase 'Reverence for Life'.
-- Out of My Life and Thought (1949), English translation of Aus meinem Leben und Denken (1933).

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does no limit itself to mankind.
-- Kulturphilosophie (1923)

As we acquire more knowldege, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)
Alternative rendering:
The highest knowledge is to know we are surrounded by mystery.
-- Albert Schweitzer, The Spiritual Life (1947)

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.
-- Kulturphilosophie (1923)

Truth has no special place or time of its own. Its hour is now -- always and indeed most truly when it seems most unsuitable to actual circumstances.
-- Zwischen Wasser und Urwald (On the Edge of the Primeval Forest) (1922)

We all must die. But that I can save him from days of torture, that is what I feel is my great and ever new privilege. Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself.
-- Zwischen Wasser und Urwald (On the Edge of the Primeval Forest) (1922)

He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside. He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word: 'Follow thou me!' and set us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience, who He is.
-- The Quest for the Historical Jesus, W. Montgomery, translation (1910)

Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

Man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
-- Albert Schweitzer (attributed)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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