Beginning, I had a very limited knowledge of the Reformation; only basic ideas and principles that surrounded it. I knew that it had a large effect on the Catholic Church, and that many people began to ‘break-off’ and form separate religions based on the theological beliefs of a central leader. There was also the counter-reformation, itself having a substantial impact on the church structure of the time. From here I began my preliminary research by looking for individuals that sparked micro-revolutions. The list was rather large, including people like Martin Luther and John Calvin; two protestant leaders and self-proclaimed ‘reformers’. These are the types of people I came to find most interesting, the revolutionary thinkers who openly challenged the church’s current ways, and decided it was important enough to change. Here I had some difficulty fully understanding how these individuals went about doing this, without modern communication they were able to convey a decently complex message of reform to a large number of people with astounding effectiveness. Luther, specifically, started and spread a major protestant reform practically over night. As I would come to discover, the printing press was Luther’s greatest weapon as a reformer; it enabled him to spread a message rather quickly without influence from the Church or government. In my research I began to narrow down on Martin Luther, and the protestant revolution; focusing on its origin as well as what it brought about in terms of changes and influences on society. I am still narrowing down a range of possible primary source documents on the topic of Martin Luther. This is definitely my next, and probably most challenging, step in my research process.
Mid-way research process post
Posted in: Projects