Religion: The World of the Flight

Near the end of World War I, a promising Swiss diagnostician named Max Picard left the University Hospital in Heidelberg and gave up the practice of medicine. He deserted his profession because he felt that doctors, fascinated by the mechanics of medicine, were losing sight of their patients as individuals. To get a better perspective, Picard studied philosophy, finally moved to the tiny village of Caslano, Switzerland. Now 63, he has lived there ever since, quietly writing and studying, in a one-man effort to diagnose the spiritual troubles of modern times.

Born a Jew (his great-grandfather was a rabbi), Picard became a...

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