Bible Museum Magna Carta exhibition explores role of Bible and English Church in struggle for liberty

It was the first English charter to directly challenge the monarchy's authority with a declaration of human rights

A new exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. will examine the struggle for liberty in the context of the role of the centuries-old Magna Carta and the English Church from its creation through the present day. 

Written in 1215, the Magna Carta required the king of England, King John, to cede absolute power. Today, it is seen as the first step toward constitutional law rather than the hereditary power of royalty, LiveScience reported. 

It was the first English charter to directly challenge the monarchy's authority with a declaration of human rights. Noblemen came together in 1215 to declare their rights to King John.

A detail of the Salisbury Magna Carta one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, on display at the library during a media preview in London in 2015. The document established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

A detail of the Salisbury Magna Carta one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, on display at the library during a media preview in London in 2015. The document established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) (The Associated Press)

The exhibition, titled "Magna Carta: Tyranny. Justice. Liberty.," begins in medieval England during the early Twelfth-century when the document was created and explores those involved. The second part of the presentation goes into the American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when it took on new meaning amid the struggle for freedom against British rule. 

The exhibition ends with an examination of the Magna Carta in modern times, starting with the United Nations declaration of human rights to the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton and beyond. 

Also featured will be interactive displays and a film starring award-winning actor Andy Serkis about how the document has impacted the world. 

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The exhibition opens Friday and runs through Jan. 2, 2022.