Monday, November 25, 2013

Do You want to know the mind of Pope Francis the I?

Pope Francis has been a hard man to pin down theologically; his tendency to speak in less-than-concrete pastoral terms, combined with a willingness to admit to his own mistakes and sins make it extremely hard to get a reading of this man. But one English Novel linked to the new Pope stands out. Before he was pope, before he was Archbishop, he once taught literature in secondary school, and one English science fiction novel was on his list even back then: The Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson. He's quoted from it recently, as of course had the two Popes before him. I guarantee it is worth a read, once you get past the idea of lighter-than-air jet aircraft (called volors in the language of the novel) and the fact that like George Orwell's 1984, Benson's dystopia took place in our past (supposedly back in 2000), yet the rest is remarkably prescient on where the trends of materialism and psychology were headed. I don't see an actual Lord of the World international celebrity emerging- yet- but what is happening to the Church in Europe and the Americas is very close indeed to what happened in the novel, even if the timeline is off (perhaps the gentle motion of the volors gave traveling men more opportunity for reflection?).

Still, a very interesting read- and since it is on Gutenberg, free for download to the e-book reader of your choice.

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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