Approaching Silence: New Perspectives on Shusaku Endo's Classic Novel

Approaching Silence: New Perspectives on Shusaku Endo's Classic Novel


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Shusaku Endo is celebrated as one of Japan's great modern novelists, often described as "Japan's Graham Greene," and Silence is considered by many Japanese and Western literary critics to be his masterpiece.

Approaching Silence is both a celebration of this award-winning novel as well as a significant contribution to the growing body of work on literature and religion. It features eminent scholars writing from Christian, Buddhist, literary, and historical perspectives, taking up, for example, the uneasy alliance between faith and doubt; the complexities of discipleship and martyrdom; the face of Christ; and, the bodhisattva ideal as well as the nature of suffering. It also frames Silence through a wider lens, comparing it to Endo's other works as well as to the fiction of other authors.

Approaching Silence promises to deepen academic appreciation for Endo, within and beyond the West.

Includes an Afterword by Martin Scorsese on adapting Silence for the screen as well as the full text of Steven Dietz's play adaptation of Endo's novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623569839
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 02/26/2015
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mark W. Dennis is Associate Professor of East Asian Religions at Texas Christian University, USA.

Darren J. N. Middleton
is Professor of Literature and Theology at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He is the author of three books, including Theology after Reading: Christian Imagination and the Power of Fiction (2008), as well as four edited volumes on religion, literature and film.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Silence in the World
Mark W. Dennis (Texas Christian University, USA) and Darren J. N. Middleton (Texas Christian University, USA)

Part One: Background and Reception
1. Before Silence: Stumbling Along with Rodrigues and Kichijiro
Kevin M. Doak (Georgetown University, USA)
2. Silence on Opposite Shores: Critical Reactions to the Novel in Japan and the West
Van C. Gessel (Brigham Young University, USA)
3. The 'Formality' of the fumie?: A Re-consideration of the Role of the fumie in Silence
Mark Williams (University of Leeds, UK)
4. Endo and Greene's Literary Theology
Darren J. N. Middleton (Texas Christian University, USA)
5. Charting Endo's Catholic Literary Aesthetic
Mark Bosco, S.J. (Loyola University, Chicago, USA)
6. Forbidden Ships to Chartered Tours: Endo, Apostasy, and Globalization
Christopher B. Wachal (Marquette University, Milwaukee, USA)

Part Two: Christianity and Buddhism
7. The Catholic Shift East: The Case of Japan
Christal Whelan (Independent Scholar and Filmmaker)
8. Agape Unbound in Silence and Deep River
Elizabeth Cameron Galbraith (St. Olaf College, USA)
9. Discerning the Marshland of This World: Silence from a Japanese Buddhist Perspective
Dennis Hirota (Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan)
10. A Buddhist Reading of the Blue Eyes of Jesus in Silence
Mark W. Dennis (Texas Christian University, USA)

Part Three: Endo's Theology
11. Literature as Dohansha in Silence
Jeff Keuss (Seattle Pacific University, USA)
12. Is Abjection a Virtue?: Silence and the Trauma of Apostasy
Dennis Washburban (Dartmouth College, USA)
13. 'And Like the Sea God was Silent': Multivalent Water Imagery in Silence
Frances McCormack (National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland)
14. Laughter Out of Place: Risibility as Resistance and Hidden Transcript in Silence
Jacqueline Bussie (Concordia College, USA)

Part Four: Teaching Silence
15. Silence in the Classroom
John Kaltner (Rhodes College, USA)

Part Five: Later Adaptations
16. Silence, a play
Steven Dietz
17. Silence, a film
Martin Scorsese

For Further Reading


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