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Dr Albert Schweitzer - a Celebration

Humanitarian, Physician, Theologian

Philosopher, Organist

St Mark’s Church - Myddelton Square, London EC1R 1XX, United Kingdom

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“Three kinds of progress are significant for culture: progress in knowledge and technology; progress in the socialisation of man; progress in spirituality. The last is the most important. Technical progress, extension of knowledge, does indeed represent progress, but not in fundamentals. The essential thing is that we become more finely and deeply human."

Dr Albert Schweitzer, OM, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

In the 1950s, Dr Albert Schweitzer was one of the most famous people in the world. Now, 50 years after his death in 1965, he is much less well-known, so this one-day celebration of his life and work aims to revive interest in his remarkable life and legacy, which has inspired so many people around the world. Our programme covers his life, philosophy, theology and ethics, medicine and music. We are especially fortunate that Trudi Sanderson, who set up the leper village at Lambarene and had close contact with Schweitzer, is able to join us. We very much look forward to your participation.


  • 9:45 on Registration
  • 10:30 David Lorimer – Introduction to Albert Schweitzer's Life and Thought
  • 11:30 Coffee
  • 12:00 Dr James Carleton-Paget: “That Most Difficult of Theologians" (Karl Barth): the Place of Theology in Albert Schweitzer's Life
  • 1:00 Lunch (please bring a packed lunch)
  • 2:15 Erica Anderson's classic documentary on Dr Albert Schweitzer, with comments from Trudi Sanderson
  • 3:45 Stretch break
  • 3:50 Simon Dearsley: Schweitzer, the Organist with Aspiration
  • 4:40 Reflections and conclusions
  • 5:00 Tea
  • 5:30 Organ recital by Simon Dearsley:
  • · Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Dorian) BWV 538 – J.S. Bach
  • · Choral in A minor - Franck
  • · Fantasia and Fugue in G minor BWV 542 – J.S. Bach


James Carleton Paget is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Peterhouse. He has written widely on matters to do with Christian origins, and the relationship of ancient Christianity to Judaism, and recently co-edited Vol. 1 of the first volume of The New Cambridge History of The Bible. His interest in Albert Schweitzer goes back to his teenage years and he has written extensively on Schweitzer including essays on Schweitzer's theology, his relationship to Jews and Judaism and his work in Africa.

Simon Dearsley is an organist, presenter and teacher. He has been a faculty member at the Juilliard School of Music, NYC as well as leading music departments at Gordonstoun, Stowe and currently at Barnard Castle. He is a visiting professor of Organ at the Elizabeth Conservatoire, Hiroshima, Japan, as well as having been a regular organ teacher and performer at the Dartington International Summer School.

David Lorimer is Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, President of Wrekin Trust and Founder of Character Scotland. He is editor of Thinking Beyond the Brain, Science, Consciousness and Ultimate Reality and co-editor of A New Renaissance. He is author of Radical Prince, which has been translated into French, Spanish and Dutch. He has been inspired by Schweitzer's organ playing and ethics for over 40 years.

Trudi Sanderson was born in 1926 and trained as a nurse in her early twenties, spending a year in Czechoslovakia with the Red Cross in 1948. She was in Lambarene for two 2–year periods in the 1950s, during which time she built and administered the leper village. She left in 1958 and came to England. During her time in Lambarene she had daily contact with Schweitzer and in 1955 was with him on a three-week sea journey to Europe.


Myddelton Square, London EC1R 1XX, United Kingdom