Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Political Theology and the Elizabethan Church

Torrance Kirby

in The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264683
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734878 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Political Theology and the Elizabethan Church

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter discusses the theological affinity between the Elizabethan church and Peter Martyr Vermigli, the Italian reformer who spent his later career in Zurich. Vermigli’s thought did not simply migrate from the continent to England. The discussion notes that Vermigli’s English experience as an exile was formative for the development of his political theology and that the English monarchy left an imprint on his subsequent Old Testament commentaries on the subject of kingship. Scottish Covenanters and English puritans in the early seventeenth century nonetheless continued to find the work of Zurich reformers useful for refuting episcopacy. If the political theology of Vermigli was agreeable to the Elizabethan church, conformists associated Calvinism with political sedition on the grounds that reformation in Geneva was born out of revolution.

Keywords: Elizabethan church; political theology; Old Testament; Peter Martyr Vermigli; Geneva; Calvinism

Chapter.  10884 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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