Sarah's Reviews > Silence

Silence by Shūsaku Endō
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Sep 23, 2009

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bookshelves: book-club

This books offers a fair historical background of Japanese treatment of early Christians...the hunting, humiliation, and torture. Specifically it follows Father Rodriguez who travels to Japan in the name of the church, but really with the intention to find his mentor who was rumored to have apostatized (or at least answers to his questions of his mentor). Once there, Rodriguez finds that his own understanding and faith are being tried in the same way as his mentor's had been. Thematically, there are questions about faith and the "silence of God", among other theological questions that could be problematic to a church who regards grace alone as all that is needed for salvation...rather than works with grace. The failing point of the novel in my opinion is the complete lack of sympathy that I felt with the characters. They were written with such flat thoughts and personality. Even when Rodriguez comes face to face with his long lost mentor...the scene is written with a total disregard to emotion. Although Kichijiro was a lowly and disgusting character, I found that I liked him better than Rodriguez because he was a bit complicated and dynamic. Nevertheless, this is a good discussion book.
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