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Meister Eckhart Prize

The Meister Eckhart Prize is named after the preacher, prior, and professor who lived between 1260 and 1328. Eckhart von Hochheim, commonly known as Meister (“Master”) Eckhart, taught above all in Erfurt, Cologne, Paris, and Strasbourg. 

The Meister Eckhart Prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, has been awarded biennially since 2001. It was first offered by the Düsseldorf Identity Foundation (a non-profit philosophy institution) to foster dialogue on the subject of identity within the opinion-forming public. The honour is conferred upon personages who dedicate their work to existential questions of personal, social, and intercultural identity, and who through their actions invigorate a broad public and international discourse.

Since 2007, the Meister Eckhart Prize has been bestowed by the Identity Foundationtogether with the University of Cologne.

Laureates are

  • the Turkish-American philosopher Seyla Benhabib (2014)
  • the French philosopher Michel Serres (2012)
  • the American sociologist Amitai Etzioni (2009)
  • the Indian economist Amartya Sen (2007)
  • the German philosopher Ernst Tugendhat (2005)
  • the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (2003)
  • the American philosopher Richard Rorty (2001) 

The jury for the Meister Eckhart Prize 2009 consists of:

  • Prof. Dr. Eugen Buß, Chair of Sociology at the University of Hohenheim and chairperson of the advisory board of the Identity Foundation
  • Dr. Julia Encke, features editor-in-chief of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andreas Speer, director of the Thomas Institute, which houses the Meister Eckhart Archive, and co-director of the University of Cologne’s Philosophy Department
  • Prof. Dr. Rainer Zimmermann, Professor of Media Management at Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences and member of the Identity Foundation’s advisory board
  • Dr. Christoph Bartmann, head oft he department Culture and Information at the headquarters oft he Goethe Institute in Munich