© 2011

Albert Schweitzer’s Legacy for Education

Reverence for Life

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Schweitzer’s Life, Influences, and Convictions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. A. G. Rud
      Pages 53-63
  3. Schweitzer and Education

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. A. G. Rud
      Pages 67-87
    3. A. G. Rud
      Pages 89-105
    4. A. G. Rud
      Pages 121-141
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 143-173

About this book


This is the first book devoted to the study of the thought of Albert Schweitzer as it relates to educational theory and practice. Rud argues that Schweitzer's life and work offer inspiration and timely insights for both educational thought and practice in our new century.


Albert Schwetizer philosophy of education foundations of education biography education educational theory educational thought morality school

About the authors

A. G. Rud is Distinguished Professor in the College of Education of Washington State University, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Albert Schweitzer should be included in any list of important thinkers on education . . . Rud . . . explains and extends the ideas and practices of an individual who cared deeply for people. The book is an important addition to studies within the philosophy of education. Summing Up: Highly recommended" - Choice

"A.G. Rud explains, develops and advocates Albert Schweitzer's ethics of reverence for life as it is relevant to contemporary education. In the first half of the book he provides a clear and illuminating overview of Albert Schweitzer's life and thought. In the second half he identifies myriad practical applications of that life and thought to contemporary education, concluding with a sampling of classes and curricula that are already under way. This masterful and beautifully written book is pitched to the general educator, yet it is written with sufficient rigour to engage Schweitzer scholars." - History of Education

"We now have a book that carefully delves into both Schweitzer's life and the historical development of his concept of 'Reverence for Life' in a truly magnificent and thought-provoking way. A gifted writer and researcher, Rud is able to synthesize the long process it took for Schweitzer to have this vision, detailing the influence of his wife, Helene, and his work as an author, professor, musician, and theologian. Especially important is Rud's analysis of the need for ritual and ceremony in educational situations, which would apply to even daily chores. Too often we look at the larger picture of the budget or the building to the detriment of the small things we do for and with each other that bind us together. These things should be remembered in any classroom at any level. A seminal and important work, it will add greatly to your knowledge as a teacher and improve the way students learn and become a part of society." - David T. Ives, Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, Quinnipiac University, USA

"No other work provides so clear a discussion of Schweitzer's ideas for education today, and it does so with clarity and economy. The drama of Schweitzer's life is deftly used to bring out the inherent drama of his ideas. But this is not simply an historical study: Rud's close discussion of 'Reverence for Life', and the subtle way he draws out its implications for schooling today, adds an important dimension to urgent current discussions about moral education, ecological education, and the appropriate socialization of children. The book integrates details of a life in Africa long ago with the central issues of education that create headlines in our newspapers and distress in our society today." - Kieran Egan, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada

"At a time when the Common Core is consuming our focus on education, this book is refreshing in both what Albert Schweitzer has to share regarding the profession of teaching and what schools are for." - Education Review