Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Forgotten Reformation of Italy

It may be surprising for many to hear that a Reformation occurred in Italy. We normally use the term “Reformation” to describe the defection of Protestants from Roman obedience in places like Wittenberg, Strasbourg, Zurich, and Geneva. But surely the Italian peninsula was always loyal to the papacy?

Yet Italy was also poised for gospel renewal in the opening decades of the sixteenth century. Waves of invasions by French and Habsburg armies, epidemic diseases such as syphilis, harvest failures, and a growing resentment toward clerical authority produced a generation of troubled hearts. And, as they did else elsewhere, reformers in Italy found solvent for their fears in the promises of Scripture.

But who were these Italian evangelical reformers? Following posts will introduce you to some of them. For now, however, I wish to go deeper into the central impulses that ran through the movement: disillusionment with clerical authority and eagerness to personally encounter Christ. Read More
Among the Italian Reformers who had a profound impact upon the English Reformation was Peter Martyr Vermigli.
Photo: Peter Martyr Vermigli

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