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 from history.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: 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.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely