Christ in Japanese Culture: Theological Themes in Shusaku by Emi Mase-Hasegawa

By Emi Mase-Hasegawa

This ground-breaking learn at the Roman Catholic, eastern novelist Endo Shusaku (1923-1996) uniquely combines western and jap non secular, theological and philosophical suggestion. the writer translates Endo's vital works akin to Silence (1966), The Samurai (1980), and Deep River (1996), from a theological standpoint as records of inculturation of Christianity in Japan. Analysing the social and non secular context of Japan in an international viewpoint, the writer identifies a imperative function for koshinto - a conventional jap ethos - in Endo's concept on inculturation. Endo's swap from a serious to a good attractiveness of the koshinto culture partially money owed for his circulation from a pessimistic perspective of Christian inculturation in his early years to the growing to be theocentric and pneumatic matters of his later years. crucial for Western readers.

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Extra resources for Christ in Japanese Culture: Theological Themes in Shusaku Endo's Literary Works (Brill's Japanese Studies Library)

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In Japanese, 1. maibotsu-gata 埋没型 2. koritsu-gata 孤立型 3. tairitsu-gata 対立型 4. tsugiki-gata 接ぎ木型 5. haikyo-gata 背教型. Cf. Kaneko 1996: 27–33. Takeda states 1. maibotsu-gata can be related to Niebuhr’s (2) Christ of Culture, 2. koritsu-gata can be related to Niebuhr’s (1) Christ against Culture 3. tairitsu-gata can be related to both Niebuhr’s (1) Christ against Culture and (4) Christ in paradox with Culture, 4. tsugiki-gata can be related to Niebuhr’s (5) Christ the transformer of Culture. Niebuhr’s (3) Christ above Culture can be related to both 1.

Endo passed away three years after this novel was published and had not the time to develop the ideas about the inculturation of Christianity in Japan that were implied in it. However, I will follow his intentions and inductively develop his attempt at Christian inculturation in relation to a pluralist theology of religions. I identify, at this point in his work, a turn towards a pneumatological interpretation of Christianity. He develops a pluralist theology as a means of inculturation. Summarizing my findings in Chapter 6, I look at the prominent role which koshinto plays in the inculturation process.

The Japanese, he thought, could not understand the concept of God in western terms. 30 It is the stage when Endo became aware of the need for inculturation, to interpret the Divine in a way fitting Japanese sensitivities. 2. 1966–1980: Second stage. In these years spanning the publication of Chinmoku『沈黙』(Silence) to Samurai『侍』(The Samurai ), Endo focuses on the image of Christ. In Silence Endo exposed his inner conception of the dichotomy between Japan and the West. Afterwards his central theme gradually moved to reconciliation and mutual understanding between East and West; toward finding ways of shaping Christianity so as to better fit Japanese culture.

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