When the cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire and live video hit the airwaves, for a brief moment, something religious held everyone’s attention. Granted, to AP headline writers it’s a “tourist mecca … also revered as place of worship,” but even philistines understood they were seeing a church burning, not an office or an airport. We were all reminded that Notre Dame was built in the 13th century, vandalized by Huguenots in the 16th, and entered a state of disrepair in the 19th, and its restoration then may even be inspiration for builders now—as long as modernist starchitects don’t seize the moment. Notre Dame stands as a silent critique to secularism and a reminder of Europe’s Christian roots.
Review: 'Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom' by Robert Louis Wilken