Albert Schweitzer

A Biography

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Nils Ole Oermann
Paul Lauer
  • London, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , January
     288 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by James C. Ungureanu forthcoming.


This new biography provides a rich and varied insight into the life, work, and thought of Albert Schweitzer, an individual of mythical stature who was active as a theologian, musician, philosopher, physician, and missionary. Schweitzer's life was not, however, a straight path from his provincial birthplace in Alsace to his university studies in Strasbourg, then leading directly to his missionary work at a jungle hospital in Lambarene and ending with the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. In every life there are detours and setbacks-and Schweitzer's life was no exception. The actual course of Schweitzer's life, however, is barely discernible in his autobiography, Out of my Life and Thought. This idealized life story has been told and retold by biographers and journalists with relatively little critical scrutiny. Drawing on published and unpublished material including newly released personal papers shedding light on Schweitzer's dealings with the East German authorities and his role in the anti-nuclear movement as well as a number of interviews-most notably with his daughter Rhena-Oermann succeeds in creating not only a more realistic, but also a more humane portrait of Albert Schweitzer.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Nils Ole Oermann is Professor of Ethics at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany and Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. He also serves as personal adviser to the German minister of finance. He is the author of Mission, Church and State Relations in South-West Africa under German Rule (1884-1915) and co-editor of the Theologische Literaturzeitung.

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