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Title: The unwelcome bridle : Peter Martyr Vermigli, the doctrine of the Church, and the English Reformation
Author: Ackroyd, Peter Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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The thesis explores the doctrine of the church in the works of Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562). It focuses in particular on his understanding of discipline, the third mark of the church, and compares his thought with the ecclesiology of the programme of reform in England under Edward VI, which he served as one of Thomas Cranmer’s continental-guest scholars. The thesis has a two-fold focus. It first draws on Martyr’s writings in order to elucidate his doctrine, then analyses the reform of the English church in 1547-53 in its light. Following an historical and bibliographical introduction, Chapter Two identifies the main contours of Martyr’s ecclesiology, which is rooted in his doctrine of union with Christ and controlled by his conception of the church as Christ’s body. A distinctive articulation of the three ‘marks of the church’ is highlighted. Comparison with other writers reveals Martyr’s doctrine to be most similar to the thought of Bucer and Calvin. Chapter Three addresses church government, including the magistrate’s responsibility for church order. Recognising a plurality of church offices, Martyr assumes episcopal rule, but is unusual in reserving authority over key decisions to the people. The fourth chapter opens with a survey of medieval and Reformation approaches to church discipline. For Martyr, this was not simply a ministerial function but the responsibility of every believer: brotherly admonition is an important as excommunication in maintaining the church’s obedience and health. The affinities of this approach lie with Oecolampadius and Bucer, but the congregational emphasis is distinctively Martyr’s own. Turning to England, Chapter Five considers Martyr’s assessment of the Edwardian reform programme, and analyses the ecclesiological implications of liturgical and doctrinal change, and of the regime’s response to challenges to its authority. Despite Cranmer’s reliance on his counsel, the shape of the settlement, not least in the relationship of church and state, is shown to be significantly different from Martyr’s ecclesiology. This conclusion is confirmed by an examination of his active role in the preparation of a new code of canon law, the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, the subject of Chapter Six. Its contents reveal ecclesiological conservatism alongside reforming intent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available