Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

 (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary. He was born in Kaysersberg
Kaysersberg is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.The inhabitants are called Kaysersbergeois. The name means Emperor's Mountain in German....

 in the province of Alsace-Lorraine
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east...

, at that time part of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

. Schweitzer, a Lutheran, challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology
Historical Jesus
The term historical Jesus refers to scholarly reconstructions of the 1st-century figure Jesus of Nazareth. These reconstructions are based upon historical methods including critical analysis of gospel texts as the primary source for his biography, along with consideration of the historical and...

 current at his time in certain academic circles, as well as the traditional Christian view. He depicted Jesus as one who literally believed the end of the world was coming in his own lifetime and believed himself to be a world savior.

What has been presented as Christianity during these nineteen centuries is only a beginning, full of mistakes, not full blown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.

Out of My Life and Thought, An Autobiography (1933) translated by C. T. Campion, Epilogue, p. 241

To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic.

Out of My Life and Thought, An Autobiography (1933) translated by C. T. Campion, Epilogue, p. 242

Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life — it is bad to damage and destroy life. And this ethic, profound and universal, has the significance of a religion. It is religion.

As quoted in Albert Schweitzer : The Man and His Mind (1947) by George Seaver, p. 366

The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.

Radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway (1958-04-30) File:Gathering food in the Okavango.jpg|144px|thumb|right|The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.

Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.

Letter to a Japanese Animal Welfare Society (1961) :Translated by C. T. Campion as Philosophy of Civilisation (1949)

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Variant translation: Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.

The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil.