Joachim Gauck receives 2017 Lucas Prize

University of Tübingen pays tribute to outgoing German president; Junior Lucas Prize goes to philosopher Dahan Fan

This year’s Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize goes to Joachim Gauck, who recently left the post of President of Germany. The Faculty of Protestant Theology bestows the award for Gauck’s unflinching committment to freedom and tolerance as well as for his solid academic work. The jury praised his opposition to political populism. The award will be made on Tuesday, May 6, at 5pm in the Festsaal, Neue Aula, Geschwister Scholl Platz. All are welcome to attend.

The €500,000 Prize honors outstanding achievements in the fields of theology, intellectual history, historical research, and philosophy. It goes to individuals who have promoted tolerance and better relations between people and nations.

At the suggestion of the Faculty of Humanities, this year’s Lucas Prize for Junior Researchers went to outstanding Kant scholar, Dahan Fan. Fan was selected for his doctoral thesis on the famous German philosopher.

Joachim Gauck, born 24 January 1940, served as President of Germany from March 2012 to March 2017. A former Lutheran pastor, he came to prominence as an anti-communist civil rights activist in East Germany. During the 1989 revolution, he was a co-founder of the New Forum opposition movement in East Germany, which contributed to the downfall of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).

In 1990 he served as a member of the only freely elected People's Chamber for the Alliance 90. Following German reunification, he served for a single day as a member of the Bundestag in 1990 before being elected by the Bundestag as the first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, serving from 1990 to 2000. As Federal Commissioner, he earned recognition as a "Stasi hunter" and "tireless pro-democracy advocate," exposing the crimes of the communist secret police.

Dahan Fan born 1979 in Hebei Province, China, studied Philosophy, Economics, and German at Beida (Peking University). He completed his doctorate in Tübingen under the supervision of Professor Otfried Höffe, obtaining the highest possible grade.

The Leopold Lucas Prize honors the memory of the Jewish rabbi and scholar Dr. Leopold Lucas, murdered at Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943. The Prize was endowed by his son, Franz D. Lucas, in 1972.


Professor Dr. Michael Tilly
University of Tübingen
Protestant Theology
Phone +49 7071 29-72590