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Renascence

Volume 69, Issue 2, Spring 2017

Lyle Enright
Pages 113-128
DOI: 10.5840/renascence20176929

Reading Shusaku Endo’s Silence with an Eschatological Imagination

Entering into conversation with the theological work of Michael Patrick Murphy and Hans Urs von Balthasar, this essay articulates a starting-point for reading Shusaku Endo’s Silence and exploring its relevance for contemporary discussions between Christian aesthetics and postmodernism. Under particular examination are the ways in which both Endo and Balthasar bring postmodern hermeneutics into conversation with Christian eschatology to address questions of knowledge and identity, examining not only how themes of resurrection appear aesthetically in the novel, but also how reading the novel from within this thematic framework speaks to its central concerns. Thus, this essay articulates an anticipatory or eschatological hermeneutic which hopes to do justice to both the violence of Endo’s story and the hope of the Christian narrative.