A former bishop of Edinburgh has appeared to suggest that Donald Trump could be compared with Hitler during his rise to power.
Richard Holloway – who retired from his post with the Scottish Episcopal Church in 2000 – issued the stark warning to an audience assembled at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Holloway said Trump could cause another “thirties-style global nightmare that resulted in World War II”.
The 82 year-old – who now works as a writer and broadcaster – did not mention Hitler directly in his remarks, commenting instead on “Messianic figures” who “sway” people.
Holloway said: “There is something frightening in the way that good people in the aggregate can become something evil called the mob.
“At Trump rallies you see people crying or getting angry. They cry with almost Messianic belief.
“The world is in a cataclysmic state. We slept-walked into the thirties. The world went mad.”
“It is always risky to make historical parallels but there are a number of elements in the world situation that point to a similar restlessness as was experienced in the 1930s.”
He continued: “It is easy to forget how grim human history has been. The first half of the twentieth century was the most horrendous in human history. We could be moving into a really terrible time.”
“A similar thing was happening in the thirties. These people are easily swayed by Messianic figures who say they will remove all the misery and bring back a golden age.”
He added: “The world is in a difficult, anxious and therefore angry state that might portent angry solutions.
“We need colossal patience. People go for fast fix-it solutions that don’t fix anything.”
Mr Holloway was speaking at an event celebrating his new book, A Little History of Religion.
Since retiring from the church Mr Holloway has revealed that he is an agnostic.