Lord of the World

Lord of the World Robert Hugh Benson Was The Youngest Son Of Edward White Benson, Archbishop Of Canterbury, And Younger Brother Of Edward Frederic Benson In , He Was Ordained A Priest In The Church Of England By His Father Who Was Then Archbishop Of Canterbury After Many Years Of Questioning And Soul Searching He Was Received Into The Roman Catholic Church In He Was Ordained A Catholic Priest In And Named A Monsignor In This Book, Written In , Is Benson S Dystopic Vision Of A Near Future World In Which Religion Has, By And Large, Been Rejected Or Simply Fallen By The Wayside The Catholic Church Has Retreated To Italy And Ireland, While The Majority Of The Rest Of The World Is Either Humanistic Or Pantheistic There Is A One World Government, And Euthanasia Is Widely Available The Plot Follows The Tale Of A Priest, Percy Franklin, Who Becomes Pope Silvester III, And A Mysterious Man Named Julian Felsenburgh, Who Is Identical In Looks To The Priest And Who Becomes Lord Of The World The One Condition Of Progresson The Planet That Happened To Be Men S Dwelling Place, Was Peace, Not The Sword Which Christ Brought Or That Which Mahomet Wielded But Peace That Arose From, Not Passed, Understanding The Peace That Sprang From A Knowledge That Man Was All And Was Able To Develop Himself Only By Sympathy With His Fellows

Robert Hugh Benson was an Anglican pastor who converted to Catholicism and was received into the Church in 1903 He was ordained priest in 1904 Youngest son of Edward White Benson Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife, Mary, and younger brother of Edward Frederic Benson, he was lauded in his own day as one of the leading figures in English literature, having written the notable book Lord of the

❮BOOKS❯ ✮ Lord of the World Author Robert Hugh Benson – Uc0.info
  • Paperback
  • 296 pages
  • Lord of the World
  • Robert Hugh Benson
  • English
  • 05 November 2018
  • 9781406548426

10 thoughts on “Lord of the World

  1. says:

    In the real world of the early 21st century, the Western world, which dominates the rest of the world economically and politically, is similarly dominated internally by a ruling wealthy political and cultural elite That elite is united behind a worldview that serves them as a de facto state religion, the basic tenets of which are materialistic atheism that rejects any concept of a transcendent God as not only misguided but evil idealization and idolization of a deified Mankind, while denying any inherent rights or dignity to any individual human absolute centralization of political and economic power and rationalization of economic and social processes to maximize profit and control Although large numbers of the subservient population of workers, consumers, taxpayers and nominal voters don t share this belief system, the power elite largely dominates all levers of political, economic and judicial decision making, mass education and communication and therefore also dominates perception and access to information about events and uses economic coercion, bribery, brainwashing and manipulation of the electoral process to ensure its agenda Many of us including, but not only, traditional Christians view this state of affairs with dissatisfaction and genuine fear Christian believers especially perceive an agenda on the part of the elites sometimes avowed openly , and a trend towards, the elimination of even vestigial legal safeguards for religious and other freedoms, and the establishment of open totalitarianism and persecution with the intent to exterminate religious believers.In 1907, the intellectual currents that would lead to this state of affairs were far less advanced than they are now But they were there, and already clearly expressed in germinal form in much of the Utopian thought of that day Obviously, what an adherent of this worldview sees as Utopia would pretty much be everybody else s dystopia Robert Hugh Benson, former Anglican priest turned Roman Catholic priest, extrapolated from those currents with incredible prescience to create a Christian response to them in fictional form Set apparently in the early 21st century mention is made of the legislation in 1998 establishing legal euthanasia, some years before the characters present it describes a world where the materialistic Utopia is largely a reality, save for the galling persistence of a small minority of religious believers This is social science fiction, subject to the limitations of its time future technological developments here aren t portrayed exactly as they turned out though some are pretty close , and nobody in 1907 or even 1967 foresaw the Internet But what we have in the main is a chillingly realistic and plausible portrait of the secular world, that is in its essentials basically not much different than the one we live in, or could reasonably expect to live in very soon.However, this is than dystopian SF, because Benson recognized the real issues as spiritual rather than sociological, and the answer to the problem as coming from God s action, not ours So this is a novel that takes very seriously the reality of Christian eschatology, of a climax of history in which God Himself will act to replace the present world order with an eternal one based on justice and righteousness, as adumbrated in Bible prophecy and Benson takes some aspects of Bible prophecy literally than most Catholic expositors have, although without the bizarre distortions of prophecy featured by the dispensationalist writers of, for instance, the Left Behind series This isn t a spoiler it s foreshadowed from the Prologue on, and it s the essential core of Benson s message This is very much a novel of ideas but it also has a very real, taut plot, focusing mainly on three viewpoint characters who represent very different takes on the events of their world All three are drawn very realistically, and in such a way that we can truly get inside their heads and understand how they think Nonbelievers aren t necessarily treated unsympathetically Mabel is actually one of the most sympathetic characters in the book Events move swiftly, with a mounting degree of menace and suspense The Edwardian diction features some big words, including Catholic ecclesiastical vocabulary and some lines, especially near the end, in untranslated Latin which educated readers in 1907, of course, could translate and complex sentences and there can be at times description of physical settings than I d have preferred But I didn t have any problem reading this, and finding it to be an extremely powerful and meaningful reading experience.I ve recommended the book to Christian readers Some nonbelievers might find some food for thought here, but I don t think Benson saw them as his audience He addressed it to his fellow Catholics, to strengthen them in the face of coming persecution and both Pope Francis and his predecessor have urged their flock to read it In keeping with his own early 20th century milieu of very conservative English Catholicism, the author sees his denomination as largely coextensive with Christianity In his fictional early 21st century, Protestantism is largely extinct, distinctive Catholic ideas are often expressed in the text, and Catholic mysticism which Protestant readers might find somewhat alien is prominent here Nevertheless, I think this is worthwhile reading for Protestant readers too, for the same reason as for Catholic ones what unites us, in the face of a world that rejects God, is important than what divides us, and we all need the reminder that our salvation comes ultimately from Jesus Christ, not from cultural power or political action.

  2. says:

    It s hard to remember this book is over one hundred years old Technologically speaking it s out moded, of course Robert Hugh Benson s volors flying machines which sound like Zeppelins zip along at 150 mph and people rely on typewriters for administrative work, but Ray Bradbury s The Martian Chronicles is far dated and it s fifty years newer Where Lord of the World stands up to the test of time is in its presentation of ideas Written in 1907, it accurately predicts a future world which includes legalized euthanasia, one party states, and weapons of mass destruction Also prophetically, affluence has led to apathy, atheism and a loss of faith by many Catholics Set in England with occasional forays to Rome and Jerusalem, Monsignor Benson focuses his attention on Catholic Christians, without looking closely at other Christian denominations No doubt this was necessary for flow but it also allowed Benson to illustrate the variety of responses among Catholics, who could be seen as representative of all professed believers in Jesus Christ There were those tried by adversity who immediately fell away those who like the seed among the rocks and thorns died from lack of root and finally those who persisted, growing stronger as a result of struggle The point being, the Grace of God and response to that Grace determine whether or not a soul remain committed Theological training and denominational affiliation were not at issue There were a number of apostate priests Lord of the World offers one illustration of the Antichrist and end times It might not be how you envision him and them I m still not sure exactly what I think, but Julian Felsenburgh and the scenario were certainly chilling Depressingly, but unsurprisingly, Felsenburgh was an American Fortunately he didn t remind me of anyone, though apparently there were some contemporary British personalities Benson patterned him after Ramsay McDonald and Evan Roberts.I can certainly see why Popes Benedict XVI and Francis want us to read it It s a catalytic book at the end I felt the need to talk it over with someone So many interesting issues and unique situations are presented, it would be ideal as a group discussion novel Any book clubs out there looking for their next good read Didn t like this as much as Come Rack Come Rope I m just not a fan of dystopian literature So while I was inclined to 4 or 4.5 stars, considering I read Benson s two books so close together, I figured this one suffered from comparison and gave the extra.5 star.July 29, 2016 This has been on my to read list for EVER I started it several times but always got bogged down in the Prologue, trying to understand it It even says it is not essential and it isn t but I m a stickler for reading things in order, so I doggedly kept trying This time I gave it up and now I m zipping through this Woohoo

  3. says:

    Not sure what to write as a review.Loved reading this book And the dystopia presented in the book is very visible in today s world This book was written in the begiining of the 20th century 1907 It imagines the future 2000 when Humanity Religion Humanitarianism will overtake the entire world The oly challenge it will feel will be from the Catholic religion which will by then reduced to a small minority The whole world will unite under one leadership Lord of the World having one religion humanitarianism as the uniting force The Lord of the World and the last Pope of the Catholic Church are the main characters The contrasting opinions are interestingly juxtaposed In Humanity Religion man is God and God is man There is no supernatural element to be believed in Man must believe in the idea of man and life principle Of course, he cannot give up his need to worship So, the worship is introduced in which Human Life is worshipped The Catholic Church, because it beleives in the supernatural being is considered as an institution of primitive superstition In the new age when man and man s reason are considred the sacred most, the Catholic Church and its teachings are seen as a blot that is uncomfortable To establish peace of harmony, it is good to get rid of it by violence Thus, the Humanity Religion turns against humanity.It is sarcastic and hard hitting It was written by a Catholic convert later he became a Monsignor So, the book is heavily Catholic But he has tried to be objective presenting the positions of the others as well A must read for all Catholics No wonder, Pope Francis recently recommended this book to all I also heard that it was one of the favourite books of Pope Benedict XVI as well.

  4. says:

    At the turn of the 21st century, war between the states of Europe and the East threatens at the midnight hour, however, comes an obscure American politician, a senator of no fame, whose cosmopolitan charm allows him to calm the troubled diplomatic waters and prevent a century of peace and prosperity from being overturned by strife Hailed as a savior, the rising star becomes a pivotal figure in world affairs but the epitome of modernity, this senator has a far darker role to play in cosmic history He is the Antichrist, and his triumph means the end of the world is at hand Published in 1908, Lord of the World is a piece of Catholic fiction driven by conflict between Christian tradition and modernity The prevailing drives of the 19th century seem to have achieved fruition in Lord of the World democracy has triumphed over monarchy, social programs and psychology over religion, and in general the material over the spiritual Europeans across the board are irreligious, with the exception of what is left of the Catholic church, concentrated in Ireland and the City of Rome There is a religious sentiment alive in the Europeans, a worship of the human soul, a sense of human beings as divine this humanitarian religion achieves deliberate expression when the American becomes President of Europe and institutes, French revolution like, a Cult of the Supreme Being a Cult of the Human Initially harmless, it quickly becomes the state religion, mandatory and supreme Catholic resistance is answered by the obliteration of Rome, and a new pope in exile flees to Judea, there to await the end.Although the depiction of an Antichrist figure and the Endtimes may bring to mind thoughts of the Left Behind series Lord of the World is far better done Each viewpoint character struggles with self doubt even the man who ends as Pope begins questioning his own faith The spirit of Antichrist is patently seductive this dystopia is a progressive dream world,almost like Star Trek s Earth but without warp drive But whereas Star Trek s humans have a evolved sensibility , Lord of the World s humans are just like us imperfect When a few disturbed individuals mount another failed Guy Fawkes plot against the center of the new cult, Westminister Abbey, the new European president response, and that of his followers, is far from humane Violence fills the streets, and a vicious persecution of all remaining Christians ensues Simply believing in themselves did nothing to better the people of Earth it is in fact their perfect faith in themselves that makes them so vicious Utterly convinced that their cause is righteous, those who oppose the dream count for nothing, and no action against them is beyond the pale Even as the world at large becomes increasingly awestruck by the dear leader s accomplishments, the most idealistic of the viewpoint characters find their faith in him shaken by his cold blooded savagery.A century after its publication, Lord of the World seems in part prophetic Christianity has waned fast in Europe, and rampant consumerism abounds worldwide. Moderns chase material hopes instead of spiritual succor, ignoring practical philosophy and religion alike for the distracting allure of stuff From Benson s point of view, however, the west today is not as in as dangerous a position as the west of his book we are in no danger of being fulfilled Every commercial and every election reveal our constant frustration and dissatisfaction Benson s dread was a drowsy contentedness with the way things are that masks spiritual hunger, something definitely not present in our own lives The meat of Lord is not hackneyed attempts to force current events into the poetic prophecies of the Hebrew scriptures, or action movie thriller antics like the Left Behind novels, but soul searching While Benson s Antichrist allows everyone to reassure themselves of man s moral perfectibility, his Christian characters understand human nature as frail When an English priest arrives in the City of Rome, where many of the trappings of modernity are kept outside the city walls to preserve the interior, he breaths a sigh of relief at the messiness of it Yet Percy, even in the glimpses he had had in the streets, as he drove from the volor station outside the People s Gate, of the old peasant dresses, the blue and red fringed wine carts, the cabbage strewn gutters, the wet clothes flapping on strings, the mules and horses strange though these were, he had found them a refreshment It had seemed to remind him that man was human, and not divine as the rest of the world proclaimed human, and therefore careless and individualistic human, and therefore occupied with interests other than those of speed, cleanliness, and precision Rome s Christianity assures the priest that while he is not perfect, he does not need to be Human redemption does not stem from machine perfect order Just as The Iron Heel put forth numerous arguments for a democratic socialist state in the context of a revolution against corporate rule, Lord s searching sets two different perspectives about human nature against one another one, optimistic but unyielding the other, pessimistic but forgiving The moral discussion is the heart of the book, though there are minor points of interest for those interested in comparing futurist or alternate histories Aspects of it are very dated, like the heavy use of zeppelins and telegraphs, and Benson s belief that total command economies would triumph is not dissimilar to H.G Wells and Jack London s futurecasting, though he s skeptical about its merits One peculiarity of this being Catholic fiction is the fusion of the church s foes Freemasonry and Marxism have merged here, and Mason lodges have taken over most churches I don t know if anyone takes the freemasons as seriously as the Catholic church does, with the exception of the freemasons themselves.Lord of the World is an altogether different endtimes story, theologically driven than driven on action It is far humane than 1984 or Brave New World whereas those and other dystopias invent worlds where the human spirit has been utterly crushed by systems, in Lord things are promising Man is far from God, yes, but not abandoned unlike those thrillers, where man is left alone to fight against a machine beyond his fathoming, the persecuted Christian remnant awaiting salvation in Nazareth have the hope of resurrection God is with them throughout the struggle as St Paul noted, even if they die it will be to their gain even if the world perishes, it will be reborn anew.For me, Lord is provoking, torn as I am between the invigorating faith in creative progress and the humble Christian understanding that we are imperfect and in need of grace.

  5. says:

    I was ready to give this book 5 stars right up until the last page, maybe even the last line The writing is lush, complex, with the sort of Victorian era delight in rich and beautiful language that one seldom encounters these days and it was a joy to read Here s an example It was a very upright old man that Father Franklin saw in the chair before him, of medium height and girth, with hands clasping the bosses of his chair arms, and an appearance of great and deliberate dignity But it was at the face chiefly that he looked, dropping his gaze three or four times, as the Pope s blue eyes turned on him They were extraordinary eyes, reminding him of what historians said of Pius X the lids drew straight lines across them, giving him the look of a hawk, but the rest of the face contradicted them There was no sharpness in that It was neither thin nor fat, but beautifully modelled in an oval outline the lips were clean cut, with a look of passion in their curves the nose came down in an aquiline sweep, ending in chiselled nostrils the chin was firm and cloven, and the poise of the whole head was strangely youthful It was a face of great generosity and sweetness, set at an angle between defiance and humility, but ecclesiastical from ear to ear and brow to chin the forehead was slightly compressed at the temples, and beneath the white cap lay white hair It had been the subject of laughter at the music halls nine years before, when the composite face of well known priests had been thrown on a screen, side by side with the new Pope s, for the two were almost indistinguishable.Isn t that glorious Who writes like that these days As to plot, since I m a fan of post apocalypse although this is pre and during it was a great fit Lord of the World presents a world in which secular humanism has carried the day and religion has been reduced to a mildly embarrassing and socially inappropriate habit, like chewing with one s mouth open The Catholic Church is the lone holdout, and even they have been reduced to only two countries Rome and Ireland with a few scattered believers here and there in the remainder Now, the author was an Anglican priest and son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so you know which side is going to win in the eventual Apocalypse, but it isn t at all obvious at the beginning Initially, Benson does an excellent job presenting this triumph of rationality as a positive development for mankind but gradually skillfully slowly there grows in the reader a sort of creeping nameless horror The fate of Mabel Brand is perhaps the saddest and most heart wrenching of all Curiously, in many ways Mabel reminded me strongly of Cherryl Brooks Taggart in Atlas Shrugged they both discover a lie at the heart of their lives and want to face the truth, no matter what when they do well, no for fear of spoilers Those looking for battles and car chases and excitement and the Rapture will be bored Those who enjoy a subtle, philosophical approach to Armageddon will be entranced though you may want to keep a Latin dictionary handy.So what happened Why five stars right up until the last page Well, it s not that I object to what happens on the last page, but rather the fact that it IS the last page The ending is exceedingly abrupt, as though the author expended all his energy getting the reader to that point and then collapsed Not that I can imagine where the story could have gone it s a pretty comprehensive last page , but we ve been trained to expect buildup, climax, denouement Well, you get a climax for sure but no denouement whatsoever It s quite the crash.Still, I highly recommend it Just be prepared to be let down ungently at the end.

  6. says:

    An apocalyptic novel written in 1907 Personally, I prefer A canticle for Leibowitz, which seems to me better built and believable, because the apocalyptic end is caused by man himself, rather than by unexplained acts of God.There are two kinds of atheism 1 Optimistic atheism, which replaces faith in God by an overpowering faith in Man God, in this view, is the result of evolution, not its cause The last question, a short story by Asimov, could be considered the most concise representative of this ideology in the field of SF.2 Pessimistic atheism, which reduces man to just an animal, an epiphenomenon, something of no importance, about whose future Nature or the universe cares nothing, something that in the long range can have no impact This would be I believe the line followed by the new atheists, such as Richard Dawkins Lord of the World shows where optimistic atheism could lead us to When the book was written, this form of atheism looked like the most probable consequence of the foreseeable progress of Mankind In a sudden change that started just a few years later, the two world wars and the subsequent half a century cold war, when the self destruction of man seemed to be the most probable future, have vaccinated us, making us lose most of our trust in Man and the unlimited progress of science Today we are witnessing an increasing attack of militant pessimistic atheism against religion, but this form of the ideology may be somewhat less damaging than the other, as the novel shows.As to science fiction forecasts, the novel has few I d mention high speed trains, nuclear weapons represented by Benninschein explosives, by which the author fails to foresee that mass destruction weapons would be created by team work, not by individual personalities , and advanced methods for euthanasia On the other hand, the scientific world depicted at the beginning of the 21st century is quite similar to the status of science and technology at the beginning of the 20th century radio telegraph as the main way of communication, telephone restricted to government uses, zeppelins for air travel, and little else.I have always believed that the Antichrist will be an ideology, not a man I find a little ludicrous the idea of a mass of atheists worshipping as God a man just like themselves Orwell s creation of Big Brother as a mysterious, impersonal chief to be worshipped was better.In spite of these criticisms, the novel is very good In fact, at times it is overwhelming.

  7. says:

    Our Pope Francis is full of surprises This book is on his list of favorites It is in the public domain so is available for free in the kindle store and is available free in audio on librivox I read it both ways The author was a Catholic priest, so there is definitely a Catholic perspective, but I think that anyone would find the book a page turner Fr Robert Hugh Benson wrote it in 1907 and it is shocking how prophetic it is Honestly, I think it would be a very interesting read especially for people who have no faith or a weak faith Humans have a need for worship in their lives If we don t worship God, what do we choose Particular world views can sound good, but without a foundation of faith in God, they can lead to places we don t want to go Once there, we can never come back This is an end times book I don t think I ll ever be able to hear O Salutaris Hostia again without getting chills No matter how you read this book, I recommend that you listen to the final chapter on librivox The reader sings the song in such a haunting voice that you will never forget it.I recommend this book to everyone.

  8. says:

    Although this book of fiction was written over 100 years ago the author accurately predicted the radical changes that have not only taken place in the 20th century but may occur especially in relation to the emergence of air travel,constant berating actual warfare against the Catholic Church, ready acceptance of euthanasia as a form of so called medical treatment most important of all the election by the world s population of the new Messiah who comes forth as a gentle,peace loving all caring individual who will save the world from its woesConclusion, beware of such leaders for they will require that all followers give up their autonomy serve the greater good ie the state.And also which books they may read

  9. says:

    In this book a practically unknown one term United States senator with a charismatic personality and a magnetic speaking voice comes to power in 2008 and turns out to be the Antichrist Honest.Yes, this is basically the same plot as a book I was handed by a wild eyed fellow outside Redfern station a decade ago You may have been handed the same book However, in this case 1 it is the Protestants who cave immediately to join the Antichrist while the Catholics are the persecuted minority fighting him, and 2 the writing is really very good.You should read this book for its prefigurements of the great 20th century dystopias Before Our Ford s T Model, here is a London with the same Brave New World aesthetic, the euthanasia centres, the selfless meritocrats keeping the proles happy with bread and circuses Before Mussolini s march on Rome, here is Big Brother s Cult of Personality, the Nuremburg style crowds, the world eerily divided into three great blocs In 1907, here is a dysfunctional European parliament, a thoroughly Godless Europe about to be overwhelmed by barbarism from the East, a London convulsed by mob violence The book is like a chrysalis containing the whole terrible century that was to come Of course science fiction is not about prediction but this book, which doesn t claim to be science fiction, comes closer to predicting the real 2008 than anything else I ve read from a similar distance in time.Unless you are fond of the sort of things Charles Williams used to write, there is no real reason to read all the way to the end after all, you know how it will turn out I would suggest stopping after the passage of the Alps, except to flip ahead and look for the bits with Mabel in them These are rather good, and also contain the basis for my assertion that the novel takes place in 2008 Oh, and the novel is full of Catholic jargon in a Morris West like fashion, only so Those are my only caveats.The book contains nothing to reassure Edwardian middle class Protestants raised on tales of Catholic perfidy The main characters are almost almost fanatical enough to be seen from the opposite direction as the bad guys in a Sheri S Tepper novel While the official position of the Church and of the heroes who are all priests is one of extreme in your face pacifism in response to persecution, there are other Catholics who do try to blow up Westminster Abbey, assassinate government officials, etc and the main characters never really condemn them, just worry about the possible blowback effects Which are admittedly pretty bad.

  10. says:

    Freakishly prophetic to today s world theology of secular humanism and all that encompasses even though this book was written in 1907 I read this book in a few days it was so hard to put down and a flowing read The major point I remember from it is the recognition of how important it will be to be fully in the state of grace in the time of the Anti Christ because of how easily the masses will be fooled and believe in him.

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