The NESt Initiative

Albert Schweitzer believed that a ‘new spirit’ needed to infuse all human endeavour. The NESt Initiative, which stands for Next Evolutionary Step Initiative, arose out of this premise and posits that to usher in a ‘new spirit’ humanity will have to take the next step in its evolution. 

This led to the development of a learning resource for schools to teach students about Reverence for Life and how to use the ethic as a lens to discuss global issues. It was designed to link with the RE syllabus and aims to stimulate discussion concerning the wider integration of Reverence for Life into political and economic activities. 

To make Albert Schweitzer’s writing more widely accessible and to further the academic study of his philosophy, Percy Mark, the former chair of Reverence for Life UK, translated major sections of Schweitzer’s last book, The Philosophy of Civilisation, Volume III into English. This translation forms an integral part of the initiative to promote the thoughts of Albert Schweitzer and move towards humanity’s next evolutionary step to become a truly ethical and civilised people. 

Books written by Percy Mark are available to buy on Amazon:

The World View of Reverence for Life: 

Albert Schweitzer conceived of his book The Philosophy of Civilisation in four volumes.  The first two volumes were published in 1923, and later translated into English, under the titles, The Decay and the Restoration of Civilisation and Civilisation and Ethics. Volume Three, The World View of Reverence for Life, became the focus of his philosophical writing between 1931-1945, but this work remained incomplete. Volume Four, The Civilised State, was never started. 

A selection from the thousands of manuscript pages for Volume Three, which were found after Schweitzer’s death, was published in German in 1999. It is a further selection from these published pages that has been translated into English by Percy Mark in this publication.

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My Path with Albert Schweitzer: 

When Percy Mark visited Albert Schweitzer at the hospital in Lambarene in 1962 he only intended to stay for a few days. But he was so inspired by Schweitzer’s work and philosophy he remained there for six months. He met his future wife there, and when Percy and Vreni married a year later, they settled in England to raise a family. This book describes their path together in the service of Albert Schweitzer’s legacy.

It also considers the contribution that the recently translated writings from The World View of Reverence for Life, Schweitzer’s Volume Three of The Philosophy of Civilisation could make to humanity’s ability to meet the challenges faced today. 

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Lanya is a story about a search for understanding. In multiple conversations with her grandfather across Lanya's lifetime, they discuss the important philosophical questions of life. Their conversations explores religion, truth, free will and the value of answers that come from within. 

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Reverence for Life UK is a registered charity in the UK. Charity No.1197043
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