3 Japanese Novels: Chimmoku (Silence), by Shusaku Endo

I was surprised to find that this book was about catholicism, just about the last theme I'd expect to find in a Japanese novel. It shows the bloody and cruel persecution of the first catholics in Japan, who are forced to step on a crucifix as a proof of renouncing their faith. The protagonist, a Portuguese priest, is forced to either undergo this torment or watch fellow believers be murdered.

I found the dilemma very interesting because it exactly explains why I'm not religious. The idea that you could even consider sacrificing human life to an abstract higher power is obscene to me. The priest renounces God and lives out his days in a vacant existence.

Posted by cronopio at 11:18 PM, December 18, 2003