"Canterbury Tales" by Chauncer.

Essay by baby_cheaterA+, November 2003

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Canterbury Tales - Medieval Church

In discussing Chaucer's collection of stories called The

Canterbury Tales, an interesting picture or illustration of the

Medieval Christian Church is presented. However, while people demanded

more voice in the affairs of government, the church became corrupt --

this corruption also led to a more crooked society. Nevertheless,

there is no such thing as just church history; This is because the

church can never be studied in isolation, simply because it has always

related to the social, economic and political context of the day. In

history then, there is a two way process where the church has an

influence on the rest of society and of course, society influences the

church. This is naturally because it is the people from a society who

make up the church....and those same people became the personalities

that created these tales of a pilgrimmage to Canterbury.

The Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England was to take place in a

relatively short period of time, but this was not because of the

success of the Augustinian effort.

Indeed, the early years of this

mission had an ambivalence which shows in the number of people who

hedged their bets by practicing both Christian and Pagan rites at the

same time, and in the number of people who promptly apostatized when a

Christian king died. There is certainly no evidence for a large-scale

conversion of the common people to Christianity at this time.

Augustine was not the most diplomatic of men, and managed to

antagonize many people of power and influence in Britain, not least

among them the native British churchmen, who had never been

particularly eager to save the souls of the Anglo-Saxons who had

brought such bitter times to their people. In their isolation, the

British Church had maintained older ways of...