The International Martin Luther Foundation (IMLS) honoured Bishop em. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Huber as part of the 14th Luther Conference. The Chairman of the Foundation, Dr. Thomas A. Seidel, is delighted that Wolfgang Huber, "an impressive personality who embodies Martin Luther's Reformation values both professionally and privately", has received the award.
Until his retirement, Huber served as Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO), as Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and was a member of the Central and Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the German Ethics Council.
In his acceptance speech, former Bishop Huber emphasised: "This award gives me new courage to hold on to the unity of freedom and responsibility in difficult times. For me, it remains a great and important concern to understand entrepreneurial action as a paradigm for this togetherness. But this togetherness is not self-evident. The problem of climate change, the confrontation with the excesses of a war of aggression and the ethical challenges of digitalisation each demonstrate this in their own way."
The Protestant pastor Dr. Ellen Ueberschär, currently still on the board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and in future on the board of the Stephanus Foundation, paid tribute to the award winner in her laudatory speech: "Wolfgang Huber has interpreted the Lutheran freedom of a Christian with intellectual breadth and great spiritual strength. He has always rejected the practice of Christian morality within the boundaries of its comfort zone, he has walked the tightrope and earned the highest social respect, especially among those who realise the unconditional coexistence of entrepreneurial freedom and responsibility on a daily basis."
Former German Federal President Joachim Gauck gave the keynote speech. He honoured Wolfgang Huber as an eloquent theologian with whom he agreed on the close link between freedom and responsibility. With regard to the theme of his speech, "No liberal democracy without a social market economy", he also emphasised: "I am grateful for our model of the social market economy, the effectiveness and structure of which we should be much more self-confident and sustainable in international debates."
The Luther Conference and the awarding of the LutherRose 2021 took place on Saturday, 30 April 2022 in Ditzingen. At the invitation of Dr. Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, Chairwoman of the Management Board and CEO of TRUMPF SE + Co KG and also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Martin Luther Foundation, the conference was held at TRUMPF's headquarters. The event was a catch-up date for the Luther Conference originally planned for November 2021. This had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.