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Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson
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Lord of the World (1907)

by Robert Hugh Benson

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Lord of the World. Robert Hugh Benson. 1907. This is one of the first books I downloaded when I got my first Kindle, but I didn’t get around to reading it until my book decided to read it. It needs to be read along with Brave New World. and 1984. It is just as sobering and frightening. The world has been divided into regions and a charismatic leader arises who will get all the regions to agree to quit fighting. The Catholic Church is the only thing standing in the way of eternal world peace where man is god. So it must be destroyed. This is not a great novel but it is a novel view of the future that contains enough truth to be scary. ( )
  judithrs | Jun 7, 2017 |
Lord of the World is an early example of dystopian fiction, set in a world in which materialism and individualism have triumphed over religion in the West. The few remaining Catholics are condescendingly tolerated even as they are openly ridiculed by those who know better. Then, just when it seems like there will be war between Europe and "the East", an unknown American takes the world by storm. All of a sudden, the West discovers faith again—faith in humanity expressed as faith in Felsenburgh. Catholic priest Father Percy Franklin despairs of what is coming, even as he tries to help his flock withstand the coming persecution. From mob violence to official persecution, there is no relief in sight for those who differ with the official line. In return Felsenburgh has promised a new age, but as one of the main characters finds out, this new age looks a lot like the old one.

A very interesting take on the End of the World. Highly recommended for fans of classic dystopian fiction, fiction of the apocalypse, or interesting Catholic fiction. ( )
2 vote inge87 | Mar 23, 2016 |
Edition: // Descr: xxix, 322 p. 19 cm. // Series: Call No. { } // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
Lord of the World
Robert Hugh Benson
1907

Holy Thursday always reminds me of Lord of the World by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson. This book was written by a Catholic priest in 1906, and describes the appearance of the Antichrist at the end of the world. While the Antichrist has a prominent role in the book, the actions of the other main characters, in this case, the Pope and his Cardinals, priests, etc. are far more interesting. The world has become extremely hostile to the Church, and there are many who have fallen away from the Faith. Even some of the priests have joined the Antichrist's movement.

Did I mention that this book, written in 1906, takes place around the year 2000?

Bear with me, and hold that thought, as this Ritalin-deprived brain leaps to yet another book which I recently showed to our Pastor. This book, which will remain nameless, was written to commemorate the 150th year of the parish that I belonged to when I was growing up. I was showing it so that Fr. X could see what the church looked like before it was 'wreckovated.' As I thumbed through the book, I came across the picture of the pastor who had been there during the 60's and 70's. He, like Robert Hugh Benson, had the title Monsignor. Unfortunately, he, along with every other priest in the city, had published a letter in 1968 to the effect that they disagreed with the Pope's teaching on Humane Vitae. That is all I could think of after seeing the Monsignor's portrait. May God have mercy on his soul, and on all the others who signed that letter. I thought of how this priest had not stood with the Pope, just as some of the priests in Lord of the World also left the side of the Pope.

No one in Lord of the World fares well in the temporal realm. How they do in the spiritual realm is far more important, and is what makes me think of this book every Holy Thursday. At the end of Holy Thursday Mass, the Precious Body is moved to the Altar of Repose, a side altar, while the main altar is stripped. As Our Lord is brought to the Altar of Repose, with incense and candles and an escort befitting The King, we would sing Pange Lingua. The first four verses would be sung until the Precious Body was placed on the Altar, at which time the final two verses would be sung.

These final verses play a significant role in the end of Lord of the World:

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio. Amen

I strongly recommend this book. It was written more than 100 years ago, but still is fresh and relevant. The events in the book and the way in which our current president was elected are strikingly similar.
2 vote 19vatermit64 | Apr 30, 2011 |
Written at the turn of the nineteenth century about our days by the son of the Arch Bishop of Canterbury
who converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic priest ( )
1 vote | brone | Oct 8, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Hugh Bensonprimary authorall editionscalculated
McCloskey III, C. JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McInerny, Ralph M.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As creeping secularism and godless humanism triumph over traditional morality, it creates a world that has been divided into three powerblocks, where religious doctrine is not tolerated and euthanasia is practiced widely. In Britain, the Royal Family has been deposed; institutions of higher learning have been closed, and a politician intent on power in the name of peace is intent on the destruction of religion. The world now has only three main religious forces: Catholicism, Secular Humanism, and "the Eastern religions." As a shrinking Church stands resolutely against him, laws are passed which require all the world's people to formally disavow the existence of God or be executed without trial.… (more)

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