By Dr Kelly Scott Franklin
In Robert Hugh Benson’s fiction, the struggle has ended with the end of days. But for us, and for each generation of Christians, the struggle begins anew.
“I am perfectly aware,” apologized Fr. Robert Hugh Benson in the preface to Lord of the World, “that this is a terribly sensational book.” But for fans of dystopian apocalyptic novels, no apology is necessary: that’s part of the fun. It’s a gripping, dark novel, and a famous one, especially after Pope Francis endorsed it in a homily in 2013. We might see it as a deadly-serious precursor to Chesterton’s The Flying Inn, or a prophetic portrait of modernity without God. Benson sets his novel in the twenty-first century, and offers both a timely encouragement and an urgent challenge to today’s Catholics, who face not only external opposition but also the internal wounds of corruption and infidelity within the Church.