RAUTENSTRAUCH, rau'ten-strauH, FRANZ STEPHAN: Austrian Roman Catholic; b. at Platten (14 m. n. of Elbogen), Bohemia, July 26, 1734; d. at Erlau (67 m. n.e. of Budapest), Hungary, Sept. 30, 1785. He entered the Benedictine order at Brewnow, where he taught philosophy, canon law, and theology. After he had been raised by Maria Theresa to the prelacy of the united monasteries of Braunen and Brewnow in 1773, and, in 1774, to the directorship of the theological faculty of Prague and later of Vienna, he prepared his Neue allerhöchste Instruction für alle theologischen Facultäten in den kaiserlich-königlichen Erblanden (Vienna, 1776), in which he insisted upon the study of the Scriptures in the original, of hermeneutics and of church history, and urged the students not to attend lectures on dogmatics before their third year of study; then should follow the practical branches, among which especial stress was laid on catechetics. Polemics should be the last subject, and this should be so treated that the system of each sect would first be presented in its entirety and then be refuted. Rautenstrauch actively advocated the reforms of Joseph II., but was bitterly opposed by the Jesuits. Among his writings special mention should be made of his Institutiones juris ecclesiastici (Prague, 1769) and Synopsis juris ecclesiastici (Vienna, 1776).
(J. J. HERZOG.)