In terms of its impact on world history Wittenberg is one of the most important cities in Germany. For 500 years, Wittenberg has been at the cradle of Humanism and Reformation. It stands for education and fresh impetus to new ways of thinking while attracting people from all over the world. It is this Genius Loci which inspired the founders of the Wittenberg Center to envision their idea of a Global Ethics.
The longstanding tradition has its beginning in 1502 when Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, inaugurated the Wittenberg University "Leucorea" that soon became an outstanding European academic institution. In 1508, the monk Martin Luther moved to Wittenberg. He became professor for Theology in 1512 and continued working in the city till his death in 1546. His protests against selling of indulgences and aberration within in the Church ultimately sparked a reform movement which would alter the course of history and kicked off Modernity. In addition to Luther, who translated the Bible into German language, further prominent personalities constituted Wittenberg's international- reputation. The Humanist Philipp Melanchton systematically developed the Protestant Theology and reformed the German school and university systems, the painter Lucas Cranach the Elder produced fine arts, Michael Agricula translated the Bible into the Finish language, William Tyndale did the same for English. Later Giordano Bruno published some of his revolutionary philosophy.and in 1734, Anton Wilhelm Amo from Ghana was the first person of African origin to study at a European university. He enrolled at the Leucorea and obtained his doctorate in Philosophy there.
Currently, Wittenberg is in preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. To that end a Luther Decade has been proclaimed. At present, Wittenberg is a place of diaolgue between people from various denominational, religious, cultural or national backgrounds. It is this unique mix of tradition and modernity, of cultural heritage and today's social discourse of ideas and infrastructure that grant an ideal setting for productive discussions remote from the usual day-to-day-business.