Recommended by Pope Francis as a must-read book on several occasions, and described by Fulton Sheen as one of the three greatest depictions of the arrival of the demonic in world literature, Lord of the World is science fiction with a difference.
It foresees the West yielding to a form of international socialism that crushes individuality. The forces of secular materialism, relativism and state control are everywhere victorious. Protestantism is no more, and Catholicism – which had seen a period of renewal 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 shrunken 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, poses a military threat. With the world adrift from all spiritual moorings and seemingly doomed to enter into a civil war between East and West a sinister figure appears from nowhere to achieve world domination. Julian Felsenberg – diplomat, scholar, guru, the Antichrist…