The Zurich Connection and Tudor Political Theology


Author: Torrance Kirby
Should students of Tudor political thought be interested in a feisty Swiss republican who hardly set foot outside his home canton of Zurich, and a Florentine aristocrat who spent just five years of his career in England? This book presents the case for including two leading lights of the Schola Tigurina—Heinrich Bullinger and Peter Martyr Vermigli—among the chief architects of the protestant religious and political settlement constructed under Edward VI and consolidated under Elizabeth I. Through study of selected texts of their political theology, this book explores crucial intellectual links between England and Zurich which came to exert a significant influence on the institutions of the Tudor church and commonwealth.

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W.J. Torrance Kirby, DPhil in Modern History (Oxford University) was appointed Professor of Church History at McGill University in 1997. He has published extensively on Reformation thought, and his most recent books are Richard Hooker, Reformer and Platonist (2005) and Richard Hooker and the English Reformation (2003).


1. ‘Cura religionis’: The Prophetical Office and the Civil Magistrate
Text: Bullinger, Of the office of the Magistrate (1552)
2. ‘The Godly Prince’: Union of Civil and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction
Text: Vermigli, Of ciuill and ecclesiasticall power (1561)
3. ‘Sinne and Sedition’: Penance and the Duty of Obedience
Text: Vermigli, A Sermon concernynge the tyme of rebellion (1549)
4. ‘A Holy Deborah for Our Times’: Vermigli’s Panegyric to Elizabeth
Text: Vermigli, Epistle to the Princess Elizabeth (1558)
5. ‘Relics of the Amorites’: The Civil Magistrate and Religious Uniformity
Text: Bullinger, Whether it be mortall sinne to transgresse civil lawes (1566)

Appendix 1. ‘Vermilius Absconditus’: The Zurich Portrait
Appendix 2. Text: Vermigli, An Epistle to the Duke of Somerset (1550)

Scholars of Reformation and Renaissance thought, students of English Reformation history, Church history, and early-modern political thought, students of Protestant scholasticism and of sixteenth-century philosophy and theology.