Albert Schweitzer Award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The Franco-German (Alsatian) theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician Albert Schweitzer was a member of our organisation – perhaps the best-known of all. Schweitzer’s passionate quest was to discover a universal ethical philosophy, anchored in a universal reality, and make it directly available to all of humanity. The keynote of Schweitzer’s personal philosophy (which he considered to be his greatest contribution to mankind) was the idea of Reverence for Life.
Since 1975, we have honoured his contribution by creating the “IARF Albert Schweitzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Liberal Religion“. The Albert Schweitzer Award is ordinarily presented to a carefully selected candidate at each one of our world congresses.
Over the years, we have presented the award to:
- Bishop Lajos Kovacs, a former student of Schweitzer’s at Strasbourg;
- Rev. William Macmillan of Northern Ireland;
- Swami Asaktananda of India;
- Bishop Toribo Qumade from the Philippines;
- Ms Kalyani Karlekar, also of India;
- Dr Gianfranco Rossi, who was our United Nations Representative on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
This year, we are honoured to be able to present the award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whose quest for freedom for his people is a byword in our times.
Below: In conjunction with the Schweitzer Award, IARF president Thomas Mathew presented His Holiness a gift of appreciation with a distinctive Keralese provenance – an Aranmula kannadi (metal temple mirror).