In these three titles written by Hilaire Belloc over 50 years, a renowned historian considers three instances where the Church comes into conflict with forces opposed to her, and explains what is at stake. The Church and Socialism dates originally from 1908, when Belloc was Liberal MP for Salford. It is a robust and eloquent defence of private property against collectivist solutions. Meanwhile, Becket takes the familiar story of the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, and explains its wider significance: how the Church resists the state’s efforts to abridge her authority. World Conflict was first published in 1951, two years before Belloc’s death; it was his last published work.
Together these titles sum up Belloc’s idea that the church is the only place where people can be ‘sane’ and properly live their vocation of humanity. He argues that the models of church and state of human happiness and fulfilment are irreconcilably different; and it is only through the Church that one can make sense of the world. Belloc eloquently argues that the Church is the key to having a wholesome interaction with the world, and to coping with all its joys and sorrows.