Magna Carta turns 800; Church of England emphasizes its role in creating historical document of freedom

King John signs the Magna Carta. By unknown, held by The Granger Collection, New York (Britannica.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Great Britain is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Given the centrality of this document to our way of life (throughout the West), it behooves us to tell its story accurately and completely. Unfortunately, that is not happening. That’s why British churches have started a major campaign that focuses on the Christian influence on the Magna Carta, BreakPoint reports.

The Archbishop of Canterbury helped draft the document in 1215, acting as the intermediary between King John and barons who sought guarantees of freedom from the king’s abuses of power. This likely prevented a civil war.

The Church of England’s Synod of Bishops has stated that “It is important that the Church’s crucial role in Magna Carta and its rights is not air-brushed out in 2015—as was the role of Christians in the anti-slave trade celebrations.”

As the Bishops remind us, “The Church in England was central to the development of legal and human rights centuries before the French Revolution . . . the first parties to the charter were the bishops—led by Stephen Langton of Canterbury, who was a major drafter and mediator between the king and the barons; and its first and last clauses state that ‘the Church in England shall be free.’”

FOR MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE MAGNA CARTA: Why We Celebrate the Magna Carta.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s