Notes to Albert Schweitzer, His Concept of "Reverence for Life" and the Fifth Commandment

Andreas Pawlas


The theologian, musician and physician Albert Schweitzer is one of the great Persons of  modern times. But he was a big critic of modernity and even of Christianity, and tried to give his time a new ethical basis with his concept of "Reverence for Life". However, it must be revealed that his concept has certainly to do with moments of self-promotion.

With his ethical concept he stands in a special relation to the Fifth Commandment "Thou shalt not kill". The more important it must be to realize, what influence had this relation in the political debates on war and peace he was engaged in.

But even if it is to see that Schweitzer's conclusions remain contradictory  and even if he was not successfull to built up a perfekt ethical system, his concept of "Reverence for Life" gives an important impuls against the modern rational manipulation and exploitation of the world and for a life in God‘s creation that is worth living.

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