RATZ, rāts, JAKOB: German Lutheran; b. at Saulheim (a village s. of Mainz) 1505; d. at Heilbronn (26 m. n. of Stuttgart) 1565. He was educated at the University of Mainz, and, though an admirer of Erasmus, seems to have entered a monastery. He later went to Wittenberg to hear Luther and Melanchthon, and, after acting in an ecclesiastical capacity in Dinkelsbühl and being deacon at Crailsheim (1534), was pastor at Neckarbischofsheim (until 1540), Neuenstadt-on-the-Linde (until 1552), Pforzheim, and probably in the Palatinate (until 1556 or 1557), resigning shortly after the accession of Frederick III. In May, 1559, he was called to Heilbronn to succeed Menrad Molther (q.v.) as pastor, a position which he retained until his death. He was able and gifted, but violent and somewhat inconsiderate. His writings treat of several interesting problems of early Protestant dogma and ethics, as when he opposed Melchior Ambach in his vindication of dancing and other amusements. Among his works mention may also be made of his disquisition on fasting (1553) and of his Von der Hellen (Nuremberg, 1545).