Shusaku Endo is celebrated as one of Japan's great modern velists, 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 vel 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 vel.
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.