Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, Nobel Peace Laureate, theologian, and musician, developed a character-oriented ethics focused on self-realization, nature-centered spirituality, and moral idealism which anticipated the current renaissance of virtue ethics. Schweitzer's idea of 'reverence for life' underscores the contribution of moral ideals to self-realization, connects ethics to spirituality without religious dogma, and outlines a pioneering environmental ethics that bridges the gap between valuing life in its unity and valuing individual organisms. In this book Mike W. Martin interprets Schweitzer's 'reverence for life' as an umbrella virtue, drawing together all the more specific virtues, in particular: authenticity, love, compassion, gratitude, justice and peace loving, each of which Martin discusses in an individual chapter. Martin's treatment of his subject is sympathetic yet critical and for the first time clearly places Schweitzer's environmental ethics within the wider framework of his ethical theory.
’This is a clear and well written book which will contribute to philosophical and theological debates around virtue ethics while being both accessible and inspirational for the general reader. It greatest value will be measured by the extent to which it leads its readers back to Albert Schweitzer's original texts.’ Metapsychology online ’… an excellent, scholarly and up-to-date introduction to this important but neglected thinker in the twentieth century.’ Science and Spirit
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Ethics from within; Ideals as guides; Environmental ethics; Authenticity: reverence for self; Compassion: community of suffering; Gratitude: good fortune obligates; Justice as human rights; Peace loving and non-violence; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.