In This World of Pain and Suffering, God Often Seems Silent. But Light is yet Present in Darkness, and Silence Speaks with Hidden Beauty and Truth. Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, first published in 1966, endures as one of the greatest works of twentieth-century Japanese literature. Its narrative of the persecution of Christians in seventeenth-century Japan raises uncomfortable questions about God and the ambiguity of faith in the midst of suffering and hostility. Endo’s Silence took visual artist Makoto Fujimura on a pilgrimage of grappling with the nature of art, the significance of pain, and his own cultural heritage. His artistic faith journey overlaps with Endo’s as he uncovers deep layers of meaning in Japanese history and literature, expressed in art both past and present. He finds connections to how faith is lived amid trauma and glimpses of how the gospel is conveyed in Christ-hidden cultures.
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