Mediathek Event
Apr 29, 2021
On the 170th Birthday and 90th Anniversary of Adolf von Harnack's Death (in German)


Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930) was first and foremost an astonishingly productive historian of ancient Christianity and a passionate Protestant theologian. After moving to Berlin University (1888), where he served as rector in 1900–1901, von Harnack increasingly took on functions in science management. Together with Theodor Mommsen, he organized long-term projects of the Prussian Academy of Sciences that still exist today; from 1905, he served as director general of today's Berlin State Library–Prussian Cultural Heritage; and in 1911 was elected president of today's Max Planck Society. In 1920, von Harnack was elected chancellor of the Order Pour le Mérite. He also had considerable influence on the Donors' Association for German Science, founded 100 years ago. In an event marking the 90th anniversary of his death and 170th anniversary of his birth, the current heads of the institutions that succeeded him will discuss whether Harnack's influence still has significance for the science system today.


  • Barbara Schneider-Kempf (General Director of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin–PK)

Panel Discussion

  • Wolfgang Huber (former bishop of the Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz and president of the council of the Evangelische Kirche in Germany)
  • Sabine Kunst (president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Christoph Markschies (President of the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften)
  • Barbara Schneider-Kempf 
  • Jürgen Renn (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)
  • Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Chancellor of the Order Pour le Mérite)
  • Andreas Barner (President of the Stifterverbands)
Cooperation Partner(s)

Der Livestream ist eine Kooperationsveranstaltung der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

On the 170th Birthday and 90th Anniversary of Adolf von Harnack's Death (in German)