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Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: Rudolf Eucken (1846-1926) was awarded the 1908 Nobel Prize in Literature “in recognition of his Idealistic philosophy of life, his penetrating power of thought, and his earnest search for truth”. Eucken was an Idealist philosopher, interpreter of Aristotle, author of works in ethics and religion, and founder of Ethical activism.

Nationality: German

Education: He studied philosophy at Goettingen University and Berlin University

Occupation: Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland (1871-1874) and the University of Jena, Germany (1874-1920)


1. “Christianity is a religion of redemption, not a religion of law; that is to say, it makes the critical turning-point, the winning of the new world, depend not on man’s resolve or exertions, but on divine grace meeting him and lifting him upwards, grace that does not merely second his own effort, but implants within him fresh springs of action and makes his relationship to God the source of a new life, a new creature.

For man as we find him has wandered too far from goodness and become too weak in spiritual capacity to be capable of bringing about his own conversion; all his hope of salvation depends on God and from Him must he receive everything. Thus deep humility and joyous gratitude become, as it were, pillars of the new life; but they are genuine only when they are the result of a great upheaval and an inward transformation.” (Eucken 1914, 7).

2. “Christianity still remains to countless souls an anchorage in the storms of life and a comfort in its trials; it is still a prolific source of self-sacrificing love and loyal devotion to duty; it still finds many who are ready to live and die in its service.” (Eucken 1914, 1).

3. “The union of the Divine and human nature is the fundamental truth of religion, and its deepest mystery consists in the fact that the Divine enters into the compass of the Human without impairing its Divinity. With this new phase, life is completely renewed and elevated. Man becomes immediately conscious of the infinite and eternal, of that within him which transcends the world. For the first time the love of God becomes the ruling motive of his life, and brings him into an inner relation with the whole scope of reality.” (Eucken, as cited in Trine 1936, ch. 5).

4. “The world’s history fulfils itself in great deeds; this indeed is what transmutes it from a mere process into a genuine history. And inasmuch as these deeds are interconnected, and unite in mutual interplay to form a complete whole, reality becomes transformed into an ethical drama. This drama, moreover, extends its action right into the soul of the individual, which has its own private struggles to undergo, its own experiences of renewal; thus alone does each soul acquire a distinctive history of its own.

It was Christianity that first made this history possible. Otherwise it could never have degraded all outward events into mere secondary trifles in comparison with care for the soul, even as Jesus Himself said: ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ ” (Eucken 1914, 9).

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965) won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his outstanding pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.” His prestige is still apparent, most prominently in his selection by Time magazine as “the poet of the XXth century.”

Nationality: American; later British citizen

Education: M.A. in philosophy, Harvard University, 1910

Occupation: Poet, philosopher, playwright, literary critic; assistant in philosophy at Harvard (1909–10); editor, The Criterion (1922-1939); editor and director, Faber & Faber Ltd. (1925-1965)


1. “What is worst of all is to advocate Christianity, not because it is true, but because it might be beneficial.” (Eliot 1988, The Idea of a Christian Society).

“To justify Christianity because it provides a foundation of morality, instead of showing the necessity of Christian morality from the truth of Christianity, is a very dangerous inversion.” (Eliot 1988, The Idea of a Christian Society).

2. “I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian Faith. And I am convinced of that, not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology. If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes.” (Eliot 1967, 200).

3. “The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief.” (Eliot, as cited in Draper 1992, No. 599).

4. In ‘The Rock’ (1934) Eliot challenges the so-called “advances” of our high-tech information age:

“The endless cycle of idea and action, Endless invention, endless experiment, Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, But nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.” (Eliot 1934).

5. “Lord, shall we not bring these gifts to Your service?

Shall we not bring to Your service all our powers For life, for dignity, grace and order, And intellectual pleasures of the senses? The Lord who created must wish us to create And employ our creation again in His service Which is already His service in creating.”

(Eliot, as cited in Poetry and Belief in the Work of T.S. Eliot by K. Smidt, 1961, p. 55; see also Michael Caputo, God - Seen through the Eyes of the Greatest Minds, 2000, 116).

6. In The Idea of a Christian Society (1939) T. S. Eliot stated: “We must treat Christianity with a great deal more intellectual respect than is our wont; we must treat it as being for the individual a matter primarily of thought and not of feeling. The consequences of such an attitude are too serious to be acceptable to everybody: for when the Christian faith is not only felt, but thought, it has practical results which may be inconvenient.” (Eliot 1988, Ch. I, p. 6).

7. “The division between those who accept, and those who deny, Christian revelation I take to be the most profound division between human beings.” (Eliot, as cited in Yancey 1999, 88).

“Our times are corrupt, the whole of modern literature is corrupted by secularism.” (Eliot, as cited in Ozick 1989, 151).

8. “Why should men love the Church? Why should they love her laws?

She tells them of Life and Death, and of all they would forget.

She is tender where they would be hard, and hard where they like to be soft.” (Eliot 1934, The Rock).

9. This is the sad picture of the XXth century:

“Here were decent godless people:

Their only monument the asphalt road

And a thousand lost golf balls.” (Eliot 1934, The Rock).

10. “A society has ceased to be Christian when religious practices have been abandoned, when behaviour ceases to be regulated by reference to Christian principle, and when in effect prosperity in this world for the individual or for the group has become the sole conscious aim.” (Eliot 1988, Ch. I, pp. 9-10).

11. In Christianity and Culture (1948) T.S. Eliot stated: “The tendency of unlimited industrialism is to create bodies of men and women – of all classes – detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion: in other words, a mob. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined.” (Eliot 1988).

12. “Christ is the still point of the turning world.” (Eliot, as cited in Castle 2002, 219).

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: Alexis Carrel (1873–1944) won the 1912 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology “for his work on vascular suturing and the transplantation of blood-vessels and organs.” Carrel single-handedly created the method for transplanting organs from one human body to the other. He is the founder of modern transplantology.

Nationality: French; later American resident

Education: M.D., University of Lyons, France, 1900

Occupation: Researcher at the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, NY; Professor at the University of Lyons, France


1. In his book Reflections on Life (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1952) Alexis Carrel wrote:

“Jesus knows our world. He does not disdain us like the God of Aristotle. We can speak to Him and He answers us. Although He is a person like ourselves, He is God and transcends all things.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 7).

2. “Why are we here? Where do we come from? What are we? Is it absurd to believe in the survival of the soul?

Only religion proposes a complete solution to the human problem. Christianity, above all has given a clear-cut answer to the demands of the human soul.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 5).

3. “The need of God expresses itself in prayer. Prayer is a cry of distress; a demand for help; a hymn of love.

Prayer gives us strength to bear cares and anxieties, to hope when there is no logical motive for hope, to remain steadfast in the midst of catastrophes.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 7).

4. In Reflections on Life, Prof. Carrel expressed his attitude towards Christianity thus:

“We are loved by an immaterial and all-powerful Being. This Being is accessible to our prayers. We must love Him above all creatures. And we ourselves must also love one another.

A new era had begun. The only cement strong enough to bind men together had been found.

Nevertheless, humanity chose to ignore the importance of this new principle in the organization of its collective life. It is far from having understood that only mutual love could save it from division, ruin and chaos. Nor has it realized that no scientific discovery was so fraught with significance as the revelation of the law of love by Jesus the Crucified. For this law is, in fact, that of the survival of human societies.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 3, Part 6).

5. “Christianity offers men the very highest of moralities. It presents to them a God who can be adored because He is within our reach and Whom we ought to love.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 9, Part 4).

6. “I want to be like smoke in the wind at God’s disposal.” (Carrel, as cited in Newton 1989).

7. “It is, of course, a waste of time to talk to children of theology and duty. But we should follow Kant’s advice and present God to them very early indeed as an invisible father who watches over them and to whom they can address prayers. The true mode of honoring God consists in fulfilling His will.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 8, Part 3).

8. “The words of Jesus penetrate deeply into the reality of life. They ignore philosophy; they break all the conventions; they are so astonishing, that, even to this day, we find them hard to understand.

To him who obeys the law of the jungle, the command to love his neighbor as himself seems absurd.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 7 “The Need of God”).

9. “Nevertheless, Jesus knows our world. Wherever we are at any moment of day or night, Jesus is at our disposition. We can reach Him simply by turning toward Him our desire and our love. It is an easily observable fact that, even in the society created by science and technology, this need of God has persisted.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 7 “The Need of God”).

10. “Millikan, Eddington, and Jeans believe, like Newton, that the cosmos is the product of a Creative Intelligence.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 6).

11. “For modern man, the only rule of conduct is his own good pleasure. Everyone is enclosed in his own egoism like the crab in its shell and, again like the crab, seeks to devour his neighbor.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 1, Part 1).

12. “It is sheer pride to believe oneself capable of correcting nature, for nature is the work of God. To command nature, we must obey her.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 2, Part 6).

13. “Our civilization has, in truth, forgotten that it is born of the blood of Christ; it has also forgotten God.

But it still understands the beauty of the Gospel narratives and of the Sermon on the Mount. It is still moved by those words of pity and love which bring peace, and sometimes even joy, to the broken, the afflicted, the sick and the dying.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 3, Part 6).

14. “Christian morality is incomparably more powerful than lay morality. Thus man will never enthusiastically obey the laws of rational conduct unless he considers the laws of life as the commands of a personal God.

Unfortunately, most modern men are incapable of acting for the love of their neighbors, of their country or of God, for the only thing they love is themselves.” (Carrel 1952, Chap. 6, Part 2).

See also Alexis Carrel’s books:

- Prayer, New York, Morehouse-Gorham, 1948

- The Voyage to Lourdes, New York, Harper, 1950

- Man, the Unknown, New York, Harper, 1935