The Internal Journey Toward Spiritual Self-Recognition in Shūsaku Endō’s Silence | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2042-1869
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1877


This article will plot and examine the spiritual progression of protagonist Sebastiao Rodrigues from “blind faith” to a fuller awareness of his spiritual self. Endo’s narratives will be seen to eschew allegorical readings in favor of presenting the importance of the spiritual journey for the individual. In the face of extreme violence, Rodrigues will be seen to develop from a position of aspiration toward honorable martyrdom to one of disillusion and disconnection from institutions that obfuscate the clarity of his personal relationship with Christ. The conclusion Endo will be seen to arrive at is that this is the true potential of a spiritual life, that the individual might find affirmation of their own belief in spite of persecution and judicial torture.


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  1. Endō, Junko.. “ Reflections on Shūsaku Endō and Silence. .” Christianity and Literature, vol. 48, no. 2, 1999, pp. 145148.
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  2. Endō, Shūsaku.. Silence, trans. by William Johnston.. , rev ed.., London:: Picador;, 2015.
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  3. Gessel, Van C.. “ Hearing God in Silence: The Fiction of Endō Shūsaku. .” Christianity and Literature, vol. 48, no. 2, 1999, pp. 149164.
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