Religion: From the Greeks to the Gospels

In an obscure leftist monthly (Politics) has appeared, in the guise of a study of the Iliad, a writing of remarkable spiritual resonance. It was written in France during the Nazi occupation. Its author: a French woman, Simone Weil, who died (1943) at 34. Its title: The Iliad, or The Poem of Force.

Force is the dominant fact of this most violent civilization in history. Force is the specific doctrine of the century's two characteristic political manifestations—Communism and Fascism. Force, in the form of history's two greatest wars, has been the century's most ineffaceable experience. Force, in the form of the atom...