Comfortably in the Middle

Posted on November 2, 2011 by


When we began this project, I knew the reformation basically only by its title, the Protestant Reformation, and that it had something to do with breaking away from the Catholic Church. I also knew that it was around the time that printing and reading the Bible was becoming more and more common. After the reading for class on the reformation that we all had to do, I understood more what the issue was and what took place and why. To begin my research I started with Wikipedia, which was a lot easier to understand the Reformation in general, and get more of a summary. All the background research as the reformation as a whole was pretty interesting to me because I was learning about it in depth for the first time and also it was fascinating to compare the church now to then in my head and how much the reformation has had a lasting impact, and why. It was a little difficult to really grasp a picture of how quickly the reformation gained its strength and following, it still is, but doing more background research from other sources helped, and my reading for my topic now helps, too.

For the process of researching and completing this project, I am following the list of suggested tasks. It seems to flow really well and make a lot of sense as I go along with finding sources and taking notes to go deeper into the topic. I started step #11, organizing notes and quotes in an “according to” style, as soon as I began research, though, and am continuing to do it. The past few days I have been reading a book that is very in depth on explaining my area of focus and also includes many excerpts of primary source writings, so I would say I am between #7 and #8 on the list of suggested tasks. Right now I feel like I am in a good spot, I know what I have to do next, I am understanding my topic, and I’m not feeling overwhelmed at all.

The topic I am focusing on is the doctrine of salvation as explained by Luther. I have learned a lot about how different this was from the rituals and understanding of most people within the church at the time, and what great weight this new understanding carried to change so many lives and countries even. I haven’t narrowed down which primary source text I am going to use, but I have several I am looking at. They are all writings of Luther himself either on theology or his personal experience of faith.

Next I am going to finish any note-taking on this topic for the context of my document and then I am going to narrow down which primary text is best to use and investigate. I’m not quite sure what the final product is going to look like at this point, but I am hoping that my blogpost will include an explanation of the doctrine of salvation, a little background on Martin Luther’s life, the tensions within the church to bring about this reformation and how the doctrine of salvation fits into that, and how the primary document gives a deeper understanding and insight to the topic and the issues of the reformation as a whole.

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