When I began this second Age of Ex project on the Reformation, I knew almost nothing about the time period. Now, halfway through the project, I find that I know most of the basic information and am already engaged in the issues and debates of the Reformation. I began by reading and taking notes on the assigned book excerpt, but afterwards I was still left with a lot of my questions unanswered, so I brought them up during class discussion and got my classmates to help me clarify my understanding. Next, I turned to Wikipedia and read the article on the Reformation, and I noted the events and subtopics that interested me the most. Perusing the list of smaller topics put together by Mike, my attention was caught by the English Reformation, and specifically by the Scottish Reformation, and after some quick background research I decided that it would be my research topic.
So far, I have followed the list of suggested tasks fairly strictly, and I am currently on task seven/eight: find good, reliable sources of information and identify possible primary documents. I am struggling to find in-depth and unbiased sources online, so I think my next step will be to search the OES library and then the Multnomah County Libraries. Part of the problem with the Scottish Reformation is that it is relatively obscure; that is to say, it is not as well known as, for example, witch trials or the rise of Calvinism, and consequently, locating information on the Scottish Reformation is difficult. I have yet to gain a thorough and solid grasp on what exactly happened during the Scottish Reformation, let alone understand its broader significance. However, I have managed, mostly by chance, to find two possible primary source documents, The Scottish Confession of Faith and The Beggars’ Summons. My understanding of what these are is slightly hazy, but I think the first one is a new confession of faith in line with the Reformed church beliefs, and the second is a document that essentially threatened Scottish friars with eviction on the grounds that their land justly belonged to the poor populace. From the information I have found, I gather that the Scottish Reformation was a complicated interplay between the Scottish populace, government, Reformation leaders, and English forces that ultimately resulted in the re-establishment of the Scottish Church along Reformed lines and brought about social and governmental change.
My next steps in the project are to find good sources of information that can give me a better understanding of the Scottish Reformation, and then to decide for certain on my primary source.