Parliamentary Medievalism: The Australian Magna Carta as Secular Relic
'This essay explores the ongoing importance of this medieval text, Magna Carta, as a powerful legimitating symbol of parliamentary democracy, and an example of institutional medievalism in the Australian federal parliament. The manuscript itself is presented and venerated as a secular relic of a distant past, its dark organic surface and almost indecipherable script offering a dramatic contrast with the modern light and airy spaces of Mitchell, Giurgula and Thorpe's Parliament House. But the relationship between modern parliaments and their medieval antecedents is not always a stable one, not always reducible either to dramatic contrasts or easy continuities.'
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