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Carus, Paul (1852-1919) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Carus, Paul (1852-1919)

Historical Note:

Paul Carus was born in 1852 in Ilsenburg, Germany. He was educated at the universities of  Strassburg, France and Tübingen, Germany. After obtaining his Ph. D from Tübingen in 1876 he served in the army and then taught school.  In 1887, he moved to the United States to become Editor-in-Chief of Open Court Publishing. In that role, he corresponded with and published the works of leaders in the fields of mathematics, philosophy, world religions, and related disciplines. Paul married Mary Hegeler in 1888. They had six children who survived infancy and were raised in LaSalle, Illinois.

Carus was a pioneer in the promotion of interfaith dialogue, the exploration of the relationship of science and religion, and the introduction of new ideas to the West. With the help of the young D. T. Suzuki, he effectively brought such Eastern traditions as Buddhism and Taoism to the attention of Americans for the first time. Paul Carus respected a plurality of approaches to the unique truth; approaches from science and religion, Eastern and Western thought, continental and analytic philosophy. He knew and corresponded with the greatest thinkers of his day, including Leo Tolstoy, C. S. Peirce, Bertrand Russell, and Ernst Mach.


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