Father Rodrigues is an idealistic Portuguese Jesuit priest who, in the 1640s, sets sail for Japan on a determined mission to help the brutally oppressed Japanese Christians and to discover the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. Once faced with the realities of religious persecution Rodrigues himself is forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God.
Silence..Is the tale of persecuted Christians.
Ferreira has disappeared, As mentor of Father Rodrigues, who has been sent to search for him – dead or alive – he is believed to have been tortured and also to have renounced his religion, his beliefs and his God.
Japanese Christians were tortured horribly, boiled but not killed in order to give up what they believed in the most. Some were strong and the immense suffering they endured, some for days on end did not achieve what these hideous acts of cruelty were designed.
Rodrigues sets sail, and secretly enters Japan. His faith is severely tested, and letters, which tells of his tale, speak of fear, strength and death.
This is a most harrowing and what I think an important story. Although set in 1643, the persecutors and the persecuted could be of any era and for any cause. The reader does not have to be of any religious opinion in order to be moved, such is Rodrigues ‘voice’. It is a powerful and emotive read.
Hailed as one of ‘the best novelists of our time’ Endo, I believe, has used personal experience to write this extremely influential and compelling novel. ( Endo was himself a practicing Catholic )
Now to be made into a movie by the brilliant Martin Scorsese, I just hope he can master the message Endo has given us.
I for one will think about my opinion of people’s differences next time I speak and act.
This book is a marvel.