Pierre Viret

1511-1571. Protestant Reformer. An important figure in the Calvinist Reformation, he acquired an interest in the study of the NT from Romain before attending the College of Montaigu at Paris (1518-31). There he joined the Reformers under the influence of G. Farel,* and became a preacher serving Reformed congregations at Payerne, Neuchãtel, and Lausanne. He joined Farel in Geneva (1534), where an attempt to poison him damaged his health. Later at Lausanne he was instrumental in founding the Reformed church and establishing a flourishing academy. His work here ended due to the opposition of Bern (1559). Viret was a trusted friend and correspondent of Calvin and was associated with him at the Lausanne disputation (1536) and in Geneva (1541-42; 1559-61). He transferred his activities to S France and presided over a Reformed national synod at Lyons (1563). Viret was an extremely effective preacher and a gifted writer. His major work is Instruction chrestienne en la doctrine de la Loy et l'évangile (1564)-three volumes which contain a popular version of Calvinist teaching in dialogue form.