Albert Schweitzer

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Albert Schweitzer (Kaysersberg, Alsace 1875 - Lambaréné, 1965) was a German-French physician inspired to be a Christian missionary to west central Africa. He build a hospital in the jungle village of Lambarene, Gabon.

Schweitzer was the son of a Lutheran pastor. He first became an accomplished organist, and earned doctorates in philosophy and theology. Before becoming a physician, he was pastor of St. Nicholai's Church, principal of St. Thomas College, and professor at University of Strasbourg. He only became a physician upon reading a call for medical assistance in missions.

Having decided to go to Africa as a medical missionary rather than as a pastor, Schweitzer in 1905 began the study of medicine at the University of Strasbourg. In 1913, having obtained his M.D. degree, he founded his hospital at Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa, but in 1917 he and his wife were sent to a French internment camp as prisoners of war. Released in 1918, Schweitzer spent the next six years in Europe, preaching in his old church, giving lectures and concerts, taking medical courses, writing On the Edge of the Primeval Forest, The Decay and Restoration of Civilization, Civilization and Ethics, and Christianity and the Religions of the World... Schweitzer returned to Lambaréné in 1924 and except for relatively short periods of time, spent the remainder of his life there. [1]

Schweitzer published The Quest of the Historical Jesus, (1906). He is considered a New Testament scholar.

Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize (1952) for his efforts, and built a leper colony with the award money.

See also