Religion: De Mortuis

According to some Christians, all of a man's life is simply a preparation for "a good death." Virginia Moore, an Episcopalian, believes that there are fashions in dying and that men die as they live—according to the style of their times. Last week she buttressed this thesis in a macabre treasury of last words (Ho for Heaven; Dutton, $3).

Eight thousand years ago, says Necrologist Moore, the unknown inhabitants of the Indian peninsula seem to have had no fear of death, regarded earthly life as a kind of spiritual education, death as release...

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