By IHE Fellow Chad Pecknold, Ph.D.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was built out of stone and wood and glass without electricity or computers. It was not built by committee, or consultants or according to state regulations. It was built by a culture superior to our own. And we know it.
Perhaps not everyone who has ever stood in awe of Notre Dame knows why it attracts them. Not everyone who watched an entire forest of oak as old as Charlemagne collapse in flames knows why its destruction made them tremble. But tremble they did.
As the spire cracked and buckled, millions of us felt civilization trembling. But trembling at what? At the loss of God? At the sudden recognition that, for all our progressive confidence, deep down everyone knows that Western civilization lacks the philosophical and religious principles that once made such a structure possible in the first place?
Originally published on 16 April 2019 at the Catholic Herald.