Monday, June 15, 2015

The Magna Carta & the rise of religious liberty

Eight hundred years ago on June 15, 1215, a group of English nobles at Runnymede forced a reluctant King John to endorse a document of grievances against royal authority.

Two men take a close look at the four existing original Magna Carta manuscripts that date back to the early 1200s. More than 43,700 individuals participated in a public ballot to win one of 1,215 entry tickets to view the four historical pieces on display together at the British Library in early February.

Written by Stephen, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Magna Carta was designed to be a compromise between rebellious nobles and the king. The work contained allusions to protecting religious liberty that, remarkably, would be embraced by England, the United States and much of the West today in subsequent centuries. Before discussing how the Magna Carta -- "The Great Charter," now at its 800th anniversary -- started the long journey of governments recognizing the principle of religious freedom, some clarifications are in order. Keep reading

Also see
Magna Carta 800th anniversary rich with relevance

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