In 1913, Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) left his internationally renowned career as a theologian, philosopher, and organ player to open a hospital in the jungles of Africa. There he developed in theory and practice his ethics of reverence for life. When he published his most important philosophical work, The Philosophy of Civilization, few people were serious about treating animals with dignity and giving any consideration to environmental issues. Schweitzer's urge was heard but not fully appreciated. One hundred years later, we are in a better position to do it. Predrag Cicovacki's book is a call to restore Schweitzer's vision. After critically and systematically discussing the most important aspects of the ethics of reverence for life, Cicovacki argues that the restoration of Schweitzer does not mean the restoration of any particular doctrine. It means summoning enough courage to reverse the deadly course of our civilization. And it also means establishing a way of life that stimulates striving toward what is the best and highest in human beings.
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About the Author
Predrag Cicovacki is Professor of Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, MA, USA. He has published over fifty philosophy papers published in English, Serbian, German, Russian, Chinese, and Slovenian and is the author or editor of nine books, including Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Vision: A Sourcebook (with Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2009).
Table of Contents
Prelude: Why Has Schweitzer Been Ignored?
Part I: Our Age of Irreverence
1. The Decay of Culture
2. The Living Book of Nature
Part II: The Ethic of Reverence
3. From Will to Live to Reverence for Life
4. Reverence for Life as a Moral Principle
5. Reverence for Life as an Ethical Vision
Part III: Reverence as a Way of Life
6. Restoring Ethical Personality
7. Restoring Ethical Community
8. Ethical Religion of Love
Epilogue: Restoration of Schweitzer?