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
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.
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.
“(…) 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.