Martin Scorsese’s new film, ‘Silence‘, is out in the cinemas now.
Based upon the classic book by Shasuko Endo, it follows the story of two 16th Century Jesuit Priests as they enter Japan in search of their mentor. They journey at a time when the Christian communities in Japan were mercilessly persecuted and driven underground. The film, (and book), asks probing questions about sacrifice, suffering and commitment. Most tellingly it explores and examines the constant silence of God in the face of such suffering, and plunges the protagonists into a deeper examination of their own simplistic assumptions. The film, (and book), remains relevant for us today when faced with deep questions about suffering and the way we might begin to understand God within that, if indeed God is caring at all…
One of the other interesting things which arose at this time, through necessity was the beginning of ‘Hidden Christianity’, (Kakure Kirishitan), which over the centuries became something which looked like a strangely muddled synthesis of Christian ritual and Shinto practice. The questions this raises about what faith is, and is based upon, is also worth some serious pondering.
Not for the faint-hearted, but highly recommended.