The Guardian

Notre Dame reminds us how the Bible stories have shaped our civilisation | John Barton

Great cathedrals and the gospels stand for so much more than religion – evoking human endurance and a quest for beauty
Inside Notre Dame cathedral after the fire. Photograph: Bastien Louvet/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Cathedrals belong to everyone. In vox pop interviews in secular France after the Notre Dame fire we heard so often: “I’m an atheist, but Notre Dame is part of me.” Reactions in Britain would be the same: a great cathedral stands for so much more than religion, narrowly conceived. It represents human skill, the quest for beauty and the continuity of communities over a length of time far greater than even many lifetimes. Attendance at cathedral services now bucks the national downward trend in the Church of England, but does not necessarily signal a widespread conversion to Christianity.

At Easter, it seems natural to commentators to

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min readPsychology
How Do You Know Whether You Can Trust Poll Results? Here’s What To Watch Out For | Rob Vance
The industry adage is that if it looks too good to be true it’s probably wrong. But the data reveals what’s really going on
The Guardian3 min readTech
The Fashion Line Designed To Trick Surveillance Cameras
Adversarial Fashion garments are covered in license plates, aimed at bamboozling a device’s databases
The Guardian4 min readPolitics
'A Brutal Dinner': Celebrities Talk About Meeting Donald Trump
Woody Harrelson is the latest person to share his embarrassing story of meeting the reality TV star before he became president