KANTZ, KASPAR: Reformer of Nördlingen; b. at Nördlingen (38 m. n.n.w. of Augsburg) in the last quarter of the fifteenth century; d. there Dec. 6, 1544. Some time before 1501 he appears to have entered the monastery of the Carmelites in Nördlingen and in 1501 went to the University of Leipsic. In 1502 he became bachelor, 1505 master, 1511 biblicus, and 1515 sententiarius. He returned to his native city and became prior of the monastery, but was deposed in 1518, although he was allowed to remain in the monastery. Whatever may have been the reason for his deposition, it is certain that at a very early time he advocated the ideas of the Reformation. After the church of the Carmelites had opened its doors to the Gospel, there followed the church of St. George, where Billican preached from Nov., 1522. Although the city council considered public sentiment, it was averse to all decisive measures, and when Kantz openly announced from the pulpit that he had taken a wife, he was expelled from the city on June 26, 1523. From one of his sermons, printed in 1524, he appears to have been recalled. In 1530 he applied in vain for the position of "Latin schoolmaster" in Nördlingen. In the list of preachers he appears as diaconus first in 1535, but before that time he held the position of German schoolmaster. On June 21, 1535, he was placed as preacher at the head of the churches in Nördlingen in place of the wavering Billican. The first church order of Nördlingen of 1538 was his work. He also promoted catechetical instruction, which had been neglected by Billican, and succeeded in bettering the moral conditions.
Kantz was the real reformer of Nördlingen. He enriched Evangelical devotional literature by writings which bear comparison with those of the more famous men of the sixteenth century. He deserves an honorary place in the history of the Evangelical church service because he drew up and put in practise a German Evangelical mass four years before Luther's German mass, under the title, Von der Euangelischen Messz. Mit Christlichen Gebetten vor vnd nach der empfahung des Sacraments (1522). It was the first attempt to arrange a German celebration of the Lord's Supper according to Evangelical principles in close relation to the Roman formulary. Kantz also wrote an excellent book for the sick, Wie man den krancken vnnd Sterbenden menschen ermanen, trösten, vnnd Gott befelhen soll, das er von diser Welt, seligklich abschaide (Augsburg, 1539; Strasburg, 1556; Nuremberg, 1568, and 1580; Tübingen, 1577), which was read also by the Roman Catholics. He published also Die Historia des leydes Jesu Christi nach den vier Eu*a*gelisten. Vnd such von der Juden Osterlam; mit trostlicher ausslegung (Augsburg, 1538; enlarged 1539; Nuremberg, 1555), a book distinguished by its religious depth, and left a catechism (Nördlingen, 1542), besides composing some hymns.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Geyer, Kaspar Kantz, in Beiträge zur bayerischen Kirchengeschichte, ed. T. Kolde, v. 101-127, Erlangen, 1898; idem, Die Nördlinger evangelischen Kirchenordnungen des 16. Jahrhunderts, pp. 1-23, Munich, 1896; J. D. Haakh, in V. L. von Seckendorf, Hist. Lutheranismi, iii. 183 sqq., Leipsic, 1692; A. Steichele, Das Bistum Augsburg, iii. 954-955, 1024 sqq., Augsburg, 1872· H. Beck, Die Erbauungslitteratur der evangelischen Kirche Deutschlands, i. 168 sqq., Erlangen, 1883; idem, Die religiöse Volkslitteratur der evangelischen Kirche Deutschlands, p. 40, Gotha, 1891; J. Smend, Die evangelischen deutschen Messen, passim, Göttingen, 1896.
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