Out of My Life and Thought Essay - Critical Essays

Albert Schweitzer


In the preface to Out of My Life and Thought, Schweitzer writes that he wanted to remedy the misconception that a short account that appeared in 1925 was a statement of his whole life and philosophy. He states that his intention in writing his memoirs was “to complete the initial study in such a way that it would tell not only about my scholarly work but also about my life and thought in general.” Insights into Schweitzer’s thoughts about the historical Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the concept of reverence for life, world religions, organ building, and interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music provide the reader with an in-depth portrait of the personality and character of an individual of compassion and spiritual strength, one whose knowledge brought him world recognition as a missionary doctor, theologian, philosopher, musician, and author.

Although Schweitzer intended this book for an adult audience, its subject matter has educational worth for teenage readers. Schweitzer also holds interest for young readers as the person who received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, who made a public appeal in 1957 for a nuclear test ban, and who continued to serve as a model for humanitarianism in a global society until his death at the age of ninety.

Readers can recognize the importance of family influence and early training in Schweitzer’s report of the time up to his first theological examination at the University of Strasbourg. Schweitzer states that he had to exert much effort in languages but that he found a fascination in...

(The entire section is 637 words.)