As Protestants this year remember the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, they will understandably focus on the legacy of Martin Luther and other big-name Reformers. However, it is to be hoped that this anniversary will also help rekindle interest in figures that were, at the time, hardly less significant to the formulation of Protestant doctrine and the establishment of reformed churches and liturgies. Chief among such figures is surely Peter Martyr Vermigli, the Florentine Reformer whose pilgrim life saw him teaching and building networks of disciples in Italy, Strasbourg, England, and Zurich, and who through his copious writings shaped Reformed churches throughout Europe. During the 16th century, his writings were esteemed as highly as Calvin’s in many regions, and particularly on the topics of Christology and the Eucharist. On the latter subject, Calvin himself declared that “the whole [doctrine of the Eucharist] was crowned by Peter Martyr, who left nothing more to be done.”
Beginning in 2018, the 500th anniversary of Vermigli’s matriculation at the University of Padua, Vermigli’s Loci Communes will begin appearing in a new English translation, the product of a partnership between the Davenant Trust, the Peter Martyr Society, and the Greystone Theological Institute. Selections of the Common Places will first appear in annual slender volumes as a Supplementum to Greystone’s new theological journal, before an abridged edition of the full Loci Communes (which is about three times longer than Calvin’s Institutes) is published in 2025, the 500th anniversary of Vermigli’s ordination. There is some potential that the project may be able to proceed faster, or to result in a complete unabridged translation of the Loci in due course, if resources prove sufficient.