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Peter Martyr Vermigli
Students of the Reformation often assume that there is nothing left to discover. Since we know a great deal about Luther and Calvin and their supporting casts, it is thought there is no more sixteenth-century treasure to be found. Fortunately, that is not true, not even with regard to Luther and Calvin. In recent years, scholars have discovered a hitherto untapped treasure of the Reformation-Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562). It is not that scholars have suddenly discovered his existence; but rather, they have begun to appreciate his vital significance for understanding the Reformed branch of Protestantism. Although not well known today, there is a growing recognition that PMV was one of the most important theologians to give shape to Reformed theology and,in some instances, he was more influential than Calvin. One contemporary, Justus Jonas Scaliger wrote: "The most important theologians of our day are John Calvin and Peter Martyr."
Scholars of intemational reputation are now beginning to recognize the crucial role Peter Martyr played in the formulation of Reformed theology. For some years a handful of scholars have quietly devoted themselves to research on PMV. As a result of their pioneering research, major developments have emerged which demonstrate Peter Martyr's foundational significance for Reformation research. With support from scholars and institutions all over the world the Peter Martyr Library was inaugurated in October 1994 to translate his major writings into English. Four volumes have been published to critical acclaim with twenty more volumes planned. This publishing project will undoubtedly stimulate further research in PMV. Oxford University Press has joined the revival of interest and will be publishing a new book on PMV scheduled this year. Another clear indication of growing interest in PMV is indicated by the five doctoral dissertations currently at major international universities such as Oxford, Edinburgh, and Zurich.