Shūsaku Endō: Silence
Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996) was a Japanese writer, one of the significant authors after WWII.
His novel Silence, written in 1966, is set in 1637 in Japan.
The story begins with the news came in the Church, in Rome: Crist?v?o Ferreira, a Portuguese missioner in Japan, renounced Christ, after he had been tortured in Nagasaki. Since Ferreira was a longtime, respected missioner in Japan and also source of inspiration for many priests and believers, it was hard to believe that such a man would do such incomprehensible thing, although the Christians were constantly prosecuted since 1587, from Hideyoshi's regime onwards.
The group of missioners is formed to go to Japan and investigate the whole situation; among them were Portuguese priests and Ferreira’s students Francisco Garrpa and Sebastian Rodrigues. Since Japanese borders were closed, they had to “sneak in”. Soon after they had come in Japan, they had to separate. Unfortunately, Rodrigues got caught and was incarcerated. Now, in front of Rodrigues stays a great trial: to renown his faith and save the local Christians from certain death by terrible torturing or not ...
During Rodrigues’ stay in Japan, he saw many suffering of Japanese Christians, so he constantly asks himself why God is silent, why God allows such terrible things to happen.
Another interesting character is a Japanese peasant and also a Christian, Kichijiro, Judas-like character. In one moment in the novel, he asks himself why God made him weak and put in front of him tasks that require strength that he, of course, doesn’t have.
This is a great novel about faith and human compassion and it surely deserves .
Last edited by sirena; 08-Sep-2011 at 20:32.
The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation.Oscar Wilde