Chaucer and the Early Church
Kaiser, Melanie L. and Dean, James M.
Medieval Forum Vol. 5 (2006)
Although some Chaucerians have questioned the place and integrity of Chaucer’s Second Nun’s Tale, we believe it has an important use in the Canterbury book. Few of the other tales address spiritual issues relevant to the pilgrimage, but the Second Nun’s Tale directly addresses the religious purpose of the Canterbury journey. The tale presents the early church as unified and dedicated to conversion, unlike the divided papacy of Chaucer’s day. The portrayal of the unified church was perhaps why Chaucer thought to include the previously written Lyf of Seint Cecile in his Canterbury Tales.