Volker Harlan was born in 1938 in Dresden, Germany. He studied arts, biology, and theology, and was a priest of the Christian Community until 2001. He is a cofounder of the private University of Witten-Herdecke and a lecturer on the philosophy of nature and aesthetics. His doctorate was published as Das Bild der Pflanze in Wissenschaft und Kunst. He was a friend of Joseph Beuys from 1972 until Beuys’s death in 1986.