Christ in Japanese Culture

Theological Themes in Shusaku Endo's Literary Works


This ground-breaking study on the Roman Catholic, Japanese novelist Endo Shusaku (1923-1996) uniquely combines western and Japanese religious, theological and philosophical thought. The author interprets Endo’s central works such as Silence (1966), The Samurai (1980), and Deep River (1996), from a theological point of view as documents of inculturation of Christianity in Japan. Analysing the social and religious context of Japan in a global perspective, the author identifies a central role for koshinto - a traditional Japanese ethos - in Endo's thought on inculturation. Endo’s change from a critical to a positive acceptance of the koshinto tradition partly accounts for his move from a pessimistic attitude of Christian inculturation in his early years to the growing theocentric and pneumatic concerns of his later years. Essential for Western readers.

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EUR €100.00USD $133.00

Biographical Note

Emi Mase-Hasegawa, Th.D. (2004) in Missiology with Ecumenical studies, Lund University, Sweden, is a research associate at Nanzan University, Institute for Religion and Culture. She has published articles in both Japanese and English, and is actively involved in Lutheran World Federation.

Review Quotes

“(…) this is a book that was waiting to be written. (…) Mase-Hasegawa’s study will be of interest to a readership not limited to aficionados of Japanese literature or of the debates surrounding religious inculturation. Indeed, as Ursula King suggests in her foreword, this is a ‘pioneering book that bridges several worlds’ ”
Mark Williams in Journal of Japanese Studies


All those interested in postwar Christian inculturation and East-West encounter in Japan. Relevant for students and scholars of religion, Asian theology, mission, literature and for corresponding libraries.

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