Silence by Shusaku Endo

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I was reminded recently that I hadn’t ever written about this book from my list of 100 that I read earlier this year.

At first my writing was delayed because the book was difficult for me. It wasn’t difficult because of the writing or the story — I struggled because of the subject matter and the apparent conclusion of the author. Maybe the best description is disturbing, or maybe disorienting.

In “The Christology of Shusaku Endo,” pastor Fumitaka Matsuoka states that Endo poses this question with Silence: “Who is Jesus Christ for those who have failed in life, for those who are overcome by temptation and continue to bear the burden of guilt?”

I was reminded of Silence in church, when the pastor spoke about 1 Peter 2, explaining that we must learn to submit before we can learn to suffer for Jesus Christ.

Wikipedia describes the book this way: “Endo’s most famous work, generally regarded as his masterpiece; it is a historical novel, telling the story of a Portuguese missionary in early 17th century Japan who becomes an apostate, but only in formality; the Christian faith is kept private from then on by the protagonist.”

This seems much too simplistic to me. I still have lots of questions about this book. It was good to read, but it wasn’t really an enjoyable, fun read.

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5 responses to “Silence by Shusaku Endo

  1. I know I’m pretty much embodying an cliche here, but the cover is certainly intriguing….

  2. :) I have post drafted about just that! I’ll try to get it up soon; this blog has been sorely neglected recently.

  3. This is possibly my favorite novel, Hannah! It haunts me….

  4. Pingback: Book club books (Faith ‘n’ Fiction Saturday) « Word Lily

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