Books: The Religious Atheist

THE DEATH OF AHASUERUS (118 pp.)—Pär Lagerkvist—Random House ($3.75).

Lugging his heavy cross, a convict was toiling up the steep street of Jerusalem that led to the hill of execution. He paused once, and would have rested against one of the houses. But the householder, standing in the doorway, told the convict to move on. He had seen plenty of such criminals on the way to crucifixion, and he did not think that they needed coddling. This one, though, turned and laid a curse on him: he was condemned to walk the earth through the...

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