Nikolaus Lobkowicz

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Nikolaus Lobkowicz ( Czech Mikuláš Lobkowicz ; born July 9, 1931 in Prague ; † September 19, 2019 in Starnberg ) was a German university professor of philosophy and political science . From 1971 to 1982 he headed the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich as rector and president and from 1984 to 1996 as president of the Catholic University of Eichstätt .


Nikolaus Prinz von Lobkowicz was the fourth of five children from the marriage of Prince Johann von Lobkowicz (1885–1952) and his wife Marie, nee. Countess Czernin von und zu Chudenitz (1899–1965). The Lobkowicz family belonged to the Bohemian nobility . After the communist seizure of power in Czechoslovakia , he emigrated in 1948 and passed his Abitur examination in 1950 in Schwyz, Switzerland . He then studied philosophy at the universities of Friborg and Erlangen . He married for the first time in 1953 while studying. In 1958 he received his doctorate in philosophy and was an assistant at the Institut de l'Europe Orientale at the University of Friborg / Switzerland until 1960 .

From 1960 to 1967 he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana , USA. In 1967 he followed a call to the chair of political theory and philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . From 1970 to 1971 he was Dean of Faculty I, from 1971 to 1976 rector magnificus and finally from 1976 to 1982 President of the LMU Munich.

From 1984 to 1996 Lobkowicz was President of the Catholic University of Eichstätt , but held the chair in Munich until 1990. From 1984 he was a member of the Council of the International Federation of Catholic Universities . From 1994 to 2011 he was also director of the Central Institute for Central and Eastern European Studies (ZIMOS).

Lobkowicz was a founding member and vice president in 1990 and became honorary president of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg in 2012 . From 1982 to 1993 he was a member of the international advisory board of the Pontifical Council for Culture in Rome . He was a member of the scientific advisory board of the Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society at the Humboldt University in Berlin .

Lobkowicz has received honorary doctorates from several renowned universities around the world, including the University of Notre Dame, USA, and the Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul . He was an honorary member of Exil-PEN as well as a member of the board of trustees of the life rights movement Stiftung Ja zum Leben . Nikolaus Lobkowicz was described as a conservative Catholic and for decades was a close sympathizer of the lay association Opus Dei .

In 2011 he received the Gratias Agit in the Czech Republic , a state award that recognizes his services to Bohemia and the Czechoslovak Republic . The prize was presented to him by the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg .

His first marriage in 1953 with Josefine Countess von Waldburg zu Zeil and Trauchburg (1929–1999) had six children. Son Joseph (1959–1975) has already passed away.


After successfully completing his university degree, Lobkowicz initially wanted to become a Jesuit because, in his opinion, Jesuits could pursue an excellent degree in philosophy. With increasing age, his philosophical interest shifted away from practical and political philosophy to more theoretical questions of metaphysics and epistemology .

Jean-Paul Sartre interested him very much at the beginning of his university career, but French existentialism was not of paramount importance to Lobkowicz at the time. Since he had a perfect command of the Czech language and had a sound knowledge of Russian, the former rector of the University of Friborg Joseph Maria Bocheński wanted to appoint him as his assistant at the Institute for Marxism-Leninism. After completing his doctorate, he was able to take up this position.

During his stay at the University of Notre Dame / USA, Lobkowicz was very strongly influenced by analytical philosophy ; he himself brought with him knowledge of Thomas Aquinas and scholasticism , as well as a good knowledge of German philosophy. In retrospect, he describes this phase of his life as the best time of his life, not least because in the USA, unlike in Germany, there is an incomparably greater willingness to talk among professors.

The time at the Geschwister-Scholl-Institut at the University of Munich confronted him with the most difficult problems of his career to date. He came to the university just as the student riots began. Before Lobkowicz was appointed rector, he got along very well with his students, as he remembered, and discussed topics of Marxism-Leninism with them. In retrospect, he described his actions in the subsequent protests as very unfortunate, as he did not react appropriately to the actions of the students and had the occupied university building cleared by the police.

After these dramatic experiences, the Bavarian University Act was passed. Lobkowicz complied only reluctantly and in the following years led a dispute with the state because it interfered more and more in university affairs, which in his opinion led to excessive bureaucratism at the universities.

He looked back on his time as President of the Catholic University of Eichstätt with resignation, as he had not succeeded in bringing out the Catholic character of the university. Again and again he had to find that the professors were more inclined to the state than to the church, and even regarded the Catholic character as inhibiting. The teaching was similar to that at the state universities.

To his regret, he did not experience a single conflict regarding scientific freedom and the Catholic faith because there was a lack of exciting arguments. Lobkowicz describes himself as a "conservative Catholic" because he believed and accepted what the Catholic Church teaches. The Pope was the ultimate authority in his eyes.

In one of his most famous works, At the end of all religion? An argument he discussed with the Dominican and religious sociologist Anselm Hertz about the place of religion in modern society. Contrary to Anselm's view that religion, as it was developed primarily in the ancient Christian environment, belongs to the past, he took the view that one could always turn to God. There is consensus on the dispute that the central question is how to stop the end of religion.

Because of his origins and his long-standing engagement with Marxism-Leninism , he observed the events in the Eastern Bloc countries very closely. Lobkowicz had not expected the collapse of the communist sphere of influence and was of the opinion that it was not predictable. The fact that it finally turned out to be something “that borders on a miracle” is also in a religious sense.

Despite certain problems, Lobkowicz believed that a situation had now developed in which dialogue and a path were possible.

honors and awards


  • The principle of contradiction in modern Soviet philosophy. Reidel, Dordrecht 1959, ISBN 90-277-0059-1 .
  • Marxism-Leninism in the ČSR. The Czechoslovak philosophy since 1945. Reidel, Dordrecht 1961, ISBN 90-277-0058-3 .
  • Theory and Practice: History of a Concept from Aristotle to Marx. Notre Dame 1967.
  • (Red.): Ideology and Philosophy. Herder and Herder, Frankfurt / New York 1973.
  • with Anselm Hertz : At the end of all religion? A dispute. Edition Interfrom, Zurich 1976, ISBN 3-7201-5077-1 .
  • Marxism and seizure of power. The communist way to rule. Edition Interfrom, Zurich 1978, ISBN 3-7201-5101-8 .
  • with Friedrich Prinz (Ed.): Czechoslovakia 1945–1970. Oldenbourg, Munich / Vienna 1978, ISBN 3-486-48561-X .
  • Request to speak on church, state, university. Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1980, ISBN 3-222-11306-8 .
  • with Hermann-Josef Grossimlinghaus (ed.): University between education and training. Naumann, Würzburg 1980, ISBN 3-88567-00-1 .
  • with Friedrich Prinz (Ed.): Fateful Years of Czechoslovakia. 1945-1948. Oldenbourg, Munich / Vienna 1981, ISBN 3-486-50571-8 .
  • (Ed.): Congress wrong ways of fear, chances of reason, courage for an open society. Lectures and contributions to the discussion. Bachem, Cologne 1983, ISBN 3-7616-0711-3 .
  • Is education still relevant? Adamas-Verlag, Cologne 1984, ISBN 3-920007-84-0 .
  • (Ed.): Congress The European Heritage and Its Christian Future. Lectures and contributions to the discussion. Bachem, Cologne 1985, ISBN 3-7616-0802-0 .
  • What did the council bring us? Naumann, Würzburg 1986, ISBN 3-88567-053-4 .
  • Are our spaces of freedom shrinking? Head of the municipal adult education center, Friedrichshafen 1986, ISBN 3-926162-05-8 .
  • What would a spiritual turn be? Employers' Association of the Metal Industry, Cologne 1987, ISBN 3-88575-038-4 .
  • Vatican II's image of man. Helbig and Lichtenhahn, Basel / Frankfurt 1989, ISBN 3-7190-1047-3 .
  • Thomas Aquinas. Life, work and effect. Publishing house economics and finance, Düsseldorf 1991, ISBN 3-87881-060-1 .
  • Turning time. Thoughts on the post-communist era. Naumann, Würzburg 1993, ISBN 3-88567-067-4 .
  • with Urs Altermatt & Heinz Hürten (eds.): Modernism as a problem of Catholicism. Pustet, Regensburg 1995, ISBN 3-7917-1457-0 .
  • with Leonid Luks (ed.): Polish Catholicism before and after 1989. From the totalitarian to the democratic challenge. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-412-07297-4 .
  • with Peter Schulz, Peter Ehlen & Leonid Luks: Simon L. Frank . Works in eight volumes. Alber, Freiburg / Munich 2000 ff.
  • Catholic University yesterday and tomorrow. Thoughts on the path of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. Kastner, Wolnzach 2005, ISBN 3-937082-40-9 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary - Nikolaus Lobkowicz died. In: . September 20, 2019, accessed September 20, 2019 .
  2. Nikolaus Lobkowicz's obituary notice. In: FAZ . September 23, 2019, accessed September 23, 2019 .
  3. Vita Nikolaus Lobkowicz. KU Eichstätt, September 17, 2007, accessed on September 21, 2019 .
  4. ^ Senate: Founders. (No longer available online.) European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), archived from the original on February 26, 2018 ; accessed on September 21, 2019 .
  5. Foundation management. (No longer available online.) Yes to Life Foundation, archived from the original on April 12, 2013 ; accessed on September 24, 2016 .
  6. University: Catholic perspective. In: Der Spiegel 18/1985. April 29, 1985, pp. 100-103, here p. 103 , accessed on September 21, 2019 . In the name of the Lord. (No longer available online.) In: Context: Weekly newspaper . September 2011, formerly in the original ; accessed on September 21, 2019 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )
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  7. Till Janzer: “In no way do I feel like a German” - philosopher and university professor Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: Radio Prague . December 29, 2011, accessed on September 21, 2019 (also as mp3 audio , 1.8 MB, 7:58 minutes).
  8. Hubert Schöne: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: BR-alpha forum. November 25, 1998, pp. 1–2 , accessed February 15, 2018 .
  9. a b c Hubert Schöne: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: BR-alpha forum. November 25, 1998, p. 2 , accessed February 15, 2018 .
  10. Karl Graf Ballestrem , Henning Ottmann (Ed.): Theory and Practice: Festschrift for Nikolaus Lobkowicz for his 65th birthday . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1996, ISBN 978-3-428-08706-8 , pp. 9 .
  11. a b c Hubert Schöne: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: BR-alpha forum. November 25, 1998, p. 6 , accessed February 15, 2018 .
  12. a b Hubert Schöne: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: BR-alpha forum. November 25, 1998, p. 4 , accessed February 15, 2018 .
  13. Hubert Schöne: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: BR-alpha forum. November 25, 1998, p. 5 , accessed February 15, 2018 .
  14. Hubert Schöne: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. In: BR-alpha forum. November 25, 1998, pp. 5–6 , accessed February 15, 2018 .
  15. Hermann Redl: About the freedom to think for yourself: The Catholic, philosopher, political scientist and former Eichstätt University President Nikolaus Lobkowicz is 85. In: . July 8, 2016, accessed February 15, 2018 .
  16. Nikolaus Lobkowicz, Anselm Hertz : At the end of all religion? A dispute . Edition Interfrom, Zurich 1976, ISBN 3-7201-5077-1 .
  17. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. Biography. In: Retrieved September 25, 2019.
predecessor Office successor
[...] President of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU)
Ruprecht Wimmer