KAUTZ, kauts (CUCIUS), JAKOB: Anabaptist;
b. at Grossbockenheim (8 m. s.w. of Worms),
Bavaria, c. 1500; d. after 1532. In 1524 he was
preacher in Worms, where the reformatory movement took
on a radical character, and Anabaptism
found a favorable soil. The resentment of the citizens,
caused by their long and violent struggles
with the bishop, found expression at the beginning
of the Reformation in violent attacks upon the
Church and the clergy. The same tendencies
showed themselves in the participation of the city
in the Peasants' War. By the intervention of
Count Palatine Ludwig, the bishop and the clergy
were reinstated in their rights, but Evangelical
preaching was continued. Among the Evangelicals
there was a conservative and a radical party.
Ulrich Preu and Johann Freiherr, two of the preachers,
were in connection with Wittenberg while
Kautz and Hilarius represented a more radical
tendency, especially after the appearance of the
two leading Anabaptists, Denk and Hätzer, in
Worms, whose teaching Kautz adopted in 1527.
The number of Anabaptists in Worms grew rapidly.
Kautz with Denk, Hätzer, and Melchior Ring published
seven theses against their Evangelical opponents
in which the peculiar teachings of Denk
find expression: the distinction between the external
and internal word of Scripture; the impossibility
of all external words and sacraments to assure
the inner man of his salvation; rejection of
the baptism of children and of the essential presence
of Christ in the Lord's Supper; universal salvation;
denial of the objective value of Christ's
satisfaction; and exhortation to follow him. The
Lutheran preachers in Worms immediately replied,
also Cochlaeus as representative of the Roman Catholics.
The excitement in the town increased and
the clergy of Strasburg declared themselves against
the theses and warned the people of Worms. At
the urgent request of Count Palatine Ludwig, the
preachers of both Evangelical parties were dismissed,
and severe measures were adopted against
the adherents of Anabaptism among the citizens;
but the power of Anabaptism in Worms and its
neighborhood was not broken. The movement had
found a sympathetic response among the people,
and it was possible to hold it down only by force.
As the Lutheran preachers had been banished at
the same time, the progress of the Reformation in
Worms was considerably retarded. Kautz wandered
from place to place, leading the restless life
of an agitator. In the summer of 1527 he appeared
for some little time at Augsburg, then at
Rothenburg-on-the-Tauber with Wilhelm Reublin. In
June, 1528, they were both at Strasburg, disputing
with the preachers; in October they were arrested
for their inflammatory speeches. Capito and
Schwenckfeld tried in vain to divert Kautz from his
revolutionary ideas, and he was expelled from the
city. In 1532 he reappeared before the town, begging
to be admitted; disappointment, despair, and
exhaustion had broken his courage; but the council
did not receive him, and thenceforth he disappears
Sources are in the works of Zwingli, vol.
viii. passim, ed. of Zurich, 1828-61. Consult: T. W.
Röhrich, Geschichte der Reformation in Elsass, i. 338 sqq.,
ii. 76-77, 1830-32; idem, in ZHT, 1860, pp. 20 sqq., 43
sqq., 60 sqq.; L. Keller, Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer,
Leipsic, 1882; C. Gerbert, Geschichte der Strassburger Sektenbewegung, pp. 57 sqq, 83-84, Strasburg, 1889; A. H.
Newman, in American Church History Series, ii. 25, New
York, 1894; idem, Hist. of Anti-Pedobaptism, pp. 170,
245 sqq., Philadelphis, 1897.