Volume 2 – Dialogue on the Two Natures in Christ


John Patrick Donnelly, trans. & ed. xxvi + 214 pp.

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In this last work of Vermigli’s distinguished career as a theologian, he uses a dialogue to discuss the disagreement among Christians about the Eucharist and Christ’s presence in the Lord’s Supper.

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1562) is considered to be one of the most important Italian reformers of the early modern period. Martyr is the subject of renewed interest for historical and theological scholars. The Peter Martyr Library, a series of critical English translations of the chief works of Peter Martyr Vermigli, allows his own words in context to speak for themselves.

Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, Vol. 31

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John Patrick Donnelly, trans. & ed. xxvi + 214 pp.

Although largely united in their protest against Rome, the Protestant reformers became sharply divided amongst themselves in the decades immediately following the Reformation. Among the issues that increasingly divided Lutherans and Reformed was one of the central mysteries of the Christian faith: the relationship of the divine and human natures of Christ in the one incarnate person of the Redeemer. Arising out of the eucharistic debates that had pitted Luther’s highly realist account of the body and blood of Christ against the more symbolic language of the Reformed, the Christological controversies of the 1550s were to ultimately dash any hopes of a united Protestant church. However, the polemical literature of this period offered some of the most searching and sophisticated investigations of the doctrines of Christology that the church had seen since the Patristic era.
Among this literature, Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Dialogue on the Two Natures of Christ towers as a classic of early Reformed dogmatics. Penned in response to Johannes Brenz’s De Personali Duarum Naturarum in Christo, the Dialogue sought to head off what Vermigli saw as a dangerous innovation in Lutheran Christology: the so-called “ubiquity” of Christ’s human body. As Vermigli’s last published work, the Dialogue was a fitting capstone to the Florentine reformer’s illustrious theological career, showcasing his peerless command of Patristic literature, sophisticated use of scholastic distinctions, and deep concern for orthodox teaching.


Abbreviations Used in this Volume
Translator’s Introduction

Dialogue on the Two Natures in Christ by Peter Martyr Vermigli

About the Translator
Scripture References


John Patrick Donnelly, S.J., received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1972, where he wrote a dissertation on Peter Martyr Vermigli under the direction of Robert M. Kingdon. Since 1971, he has taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he is professor of history. His research has centered mainly on the Jesuits and on Peter Martyr Vermigli. In addition to six articles and chapters in books dealing with Vermigli, he has published Calvinism and Scholasticism in Vermigli’s Doctrine of Man and Grace (Leiden: Brill, 1976), and with Robert M. Kingdon, A Bibliography of the Works of Peter Martyr Vermigli, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, XII(Kirksville, Mo.), 1990. He has previously translated from Latin various works of Thomas More (1982), Robert Bellarmine (1989), and Girolamo Savonarola (1994). He has held various offices in professional societies, including President of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (1977) and President of the Society for Reformation Research (1990–1991). He currently serves on the editorial boards of The Sixteenth Century Journal and Archive for Reformation Research. He is co-general editor of the Peter Martyr Library.

The Peter Martyr Library

The Peter Martyr Library, begun in 1994 by the Peter Martyr Vermigli Society, is a scholarly project to make availability to a modern audience, in critical edition translations from the Latin, the key writings of Italian reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli. Published by Truman State University Press until 2017, the Peter Martyr Library is now overseen and published by The Davenant Institute, now for the first time in paperback.