Geiler Von Kaisersberg

Geiler von Kaisersberg an eminent preacher, was born March 16, 1445, at Schaffhausen, and was educated at the University of Freiburg, where he became bachelor in 1462, master in 1463, member of the faculty of philosophy in 1465, and dean in 1469. In 1470 he went to Basel, where he studied theology for five years, and was received as doctor in 1475. The following year he accepted the professorship of theology in Freiburg, and became also rector; but the bent of his genius led him to abandon a literary life, and devote himself to the pulpit. He was preacher of the cathedral of Strasburg until 1488, when he removed to Augsburg, but returned to Strasburg, where he remained until his death, March 10, 1510. As an earnest, powerful, and popular preacher, he had few rivals in that age. "His sermons usually conmposed in Latin and delivered in German, are marked by great eloquence and earnestness; nor do they disdain the aids of wit, sarcasm, and ridicule. Vivid pictures of life, warmth of feeling, and a bold, even aough morality, are their leading characteristics. In fact, Geiler's ethical zeal often urged him to a pungency of satire hardly in keeping with modern views of the dignity of the pulpit, but quite congruous with the taste of his own age. His style is vigorous, free, and lively, and in many respects he may be regarded as a sort of predecessor of Abraham a Sancta-Clara" (Chambers, s.v.). The only work of his published during his lifetime was the Oratio habita in synodo Argentinensi. (1482); be also edited the first collection of Gerson's Works (Strasb. 1488, 3 volumes). From his MSS. a large number of sermons were compiled and published after his death. Of these, the best known are his Navicula sive speculum fatuorum (Strasb. 1510, 1511, 1513), translated into German by Pauli, D. Kaisersbergers Narrenschiff (Strasb. 1520); there is also another translation (Basel, 1513). — Of another of his works, Das Schiff des Heils, dann der Seelen Paradies (first edit.), a free translation into modern German has been published by H. Bone (Mentz, 1864). Many collections of his sermons have been published. See Von Ammon, G.'s Leben, Lehren unt Predigten (Erl. 1826); Weick, Johann G. von Ksasersberg, sein Leben u. seine Schrisften, etc. (Frankf. 1826, 3 volumes); Illgen's Zeitschrift, 27:530; Hoberm, Ueber G.'s Leben und Schriften (1834; also in the French language, Essai historique et literaire sur la vie et les sermons de G., Strasburg, 1834, containing a selection from G.'s works); Kehraein, Geschcite der katholischen Kanzelberedtsamkeit d. Deutschen (Ratisb. 1843, 2 volumes); Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, s.v.; — Herzog, Real-Encyklopädie, 4:714.

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