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Lord Of The World
     

Lord Of The World

4.6 11
by Robert Hugh Benson
 

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Described by Fulton Sheen as one of the three greatest depictions of the advent of the demonic in world literature, Lord of the World is science fiction with a difference. The West has succumbed to a sort of international socialism. The forces of secular materialism, relativism and state control are everywhere triumphant. Protestantism is no more, and Catholicism -

Overview

Described by Fulton Sheen as one of the three greatest depictions of the advent of the demonic in world literature, Lord of the World is science fiction with a difference. The West has succumbed to a sort of international socialism. The forces of secular materialism, relativism and state control are everywhere triumphant. Protestantism is no more, and Catholicism - which had made some major advances in the first half of the twentieth century - has been devastated by the development of new psychologies and the exodus of intellectuals in the wake of an Ecumenical Council. Euthanasia has become an instrument of the state, Esperanto the universal second language. Nevertheless, although organised religion has largely collapsed in the face of institutional secularism, a vague, humanistic religiosity - militantly hostile to the exclusive and supernatural claims of the Church - is present everywhere. Finally, the East, which has amalgamated into a single, pantheistic bloc, continues to pose a military threat. Enter Julian Felsenberg - diplomat, scholar, guru, Antichrist...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780972982146
Publisher:
Center for Economic and Social Justice
Publication date:
05/05/2005
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.67(d)

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BOOK III—THE VICTORY CHAPTER I The little room where the new Pope sat reading was a model of simplicity. Its walls were whitewashed, its roof unpolished rafters, and its floor beaten mud. A square table stood in the centre, with a chair beside it; a cold brazier laid for lighting, stood in the wide hearth; a bookshelf against the wall held a dozen volumes. There were three doors, one leading to the private oratory, one to the anteroom, and the third to the little paved court. The south windows were shuttered, but through the ill-fitting hinges streamed knife-blades of fiery light from the hot Eastern day outside. It was the time of the mid-day siesta, and except for the brisk scything of the cicade from the hill-slope behind the house, all was in deep silence. The Pope, who had dined an hour before, had hardly shifted His attitude in all that time, so intent was He upon His reading. For the while, all was put away, His own memory of those last three months, the bitter anxiety, the intolerable load of responsibility. The book He held was a cheap reprint of the famous biography of Julian Felsenburgh, issued a month before, and He was now drawing to an end. It was a terse, well-written book, composed by an unknown hand, and some even suspected it to be the disguised work of Felsenburgh himself. More, however, considered that it was written at least with Felsenburgh's consent by one of that small body of intimates whom he had admitted to his society—that body which under him now conducted the affairs of West and East. From certain indications in the book it had been argued that its actual writer was a Westerner. The main body of the work dealt with his life, or rather withthose two or three years known to the world, from his rapid rise in American politics and his m...

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Lord of the World 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well it came in the mail in the morning after I'd been waiting to get it for over a year (it's been out of print after all!). I was annoyed because I had to work, but when work was finished I dove into it. It was a little different from what I'd expected, but different in some really good ways. This is not just an apocalyptic novel for excitement's sake. Benson has done a superb job of portraying the conflicts that arise in human hearts as well as the possible outcomes of some societal trends. He forsees the ready acceptance of euthanasia, even for what we would now see as depression. Even a form of the EU appears in the book. True he sees Communism as still a force, where today we would probably debate that, but his 'Communism' does not look like Leninist Communism (nor should it since he was writing before the Russian Revolution), it looks more like Socialism. What we would call airplanes are called volars, but the descriptions of flight are amazing for one writing before commercial air travel became possible. His style seemed reminiscent of Charles Williams, his setting reminiscent of Brave New World. Since both of these authors wrote after Benson and both were British I wonder if they were familiar with him. I was particularly gripped by the descriptions of Father Percy Franklin's spiritual struggles. The character's constancy in the midst of turmoil was heroic, but it also gave some real modeling for the reader about how to proceed when the world as you've known it is crumbling around you. Benson lets the reader see the scenario of the end times from several perspectives, not just from the perspective of the faithful Christian, but from the perspective of the convinced humanist as well. We see fidelity and betrayal, hope and despair, faith in God and faith in Man. This is a very Catholic novel, but I don't think that you necessarily have to be Catholic to enjoy it. But be forwarned the hero of the piece is a very faithful Catholic and the villains are very faithful believers in Man. I've read it once, recommended it to my daughter, and I'm sure that I'll read it again many times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very interesting novel on an end of the world scenario. Written before modern inventions like planes were practicle, the similarities with some of the modern themes of humanism, euthanasia, and a loss of Christian faith makes this a stark look at reality and the fight against evil. Benson was an outstanding convert from England's Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. His books are considered classics.
Sarah_Reinhard 9 months ago
Lord of the World: A Novel, by Robert Hugh Benson, is a classic I had never heard of, but which boasts "I advise you to read it" - Pope Francis on the front cover. Ave Maria Press released a new edition in 2016 of this 1907 novel. Confession: I skipped the (probably very interesting and educational) introduction by Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., and just dove into the book. I had no clue what it was about, aside from the back cover's assertion that it's "one of the first dystopian novels of the twentieth century." I'm a reluctant fan of dystopian literature: I even catch myself sort of understanding why it's so popular. I want to hope, even as I almost despair at the mess the world seems to be in. Reading Lord of the World struck me with a familiarity that I wasn't expecting. It gave me a feeling of "Oh! This has been wrong for a LONG TIME!" The plot follows a few characters: a priest, an on-the-rise politician and his wife, and a cast of supporting folks who feel all too much like today's politicians and citizenry. The hope in this novel comes at the end in an unlikely way. I was expecting a fight, and I guess there was one at the end, but it was far from what I expected. What is faith and what is the longing for spirituality? How is it manifested? Where do you find it? Interestingly, the answers aren't necessarily in the text or solved by the plot, but the seeds of thought are planted. There's a chilling reality in this book: the way people both answer temptation and flock to false peace. I walked away feeling much the same as I did after reading 1984: humanity hasn't really changed. Maybe it won't. But hope remains, even when we face ourselves.
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This is a must read.
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