Jesus the Ineffecutal: The Maternal God of Shūsaku Endō and Christian Traditions Between East and West (67353)

Session Information: Religion
Session Chair: Lorenzo Pompeo

Monday, 3 April 2023 15:10
Session: Session 4
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The aim of this proposal is to reflect on how the novelist Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996) presents the Christian message and the person of Jesus Christ to his fellow countrymen.
In his life Endō has experienced the complex relationship between Japanese roots and his Catholic faith: consequently, in his works he avoids to focus on the image of a judging and condemning God, as is evident both in the story of the life of Jesus, called “the Ineffectual” in his fictionalized biography "Jesu no Shōgai" (1973), and in the novel "Silence" ("Chinmoku", 1966).
Described as someone who shares the human experience of suffering and who understands human weaknesses, Christ therefore ends up assuming maternal traits. As evidenced by the studies of Emi Mase-Hasegawa, author of "Christ in Japanese culture: Theological Themes in Shusaku Endo’s Literary Works" (2008), it is plausible that Endō drew on traditions rooted in Koshintō (ancient shintō), such as the "Amae" (the feeling that binds the child to the mother), to inculturate the Christian message in Japan.
In light of the above, these aspects of Endō’s literary works will be compared with some enlightening examples of Western Christian culture, in particular with the idea of the "foeminea forma" as it emerges from the work of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). This analysis would represent a fruitful challenge to explore intercultural dialogue between Christianity of West and of the East and to highlight similarities and differences underlying the different philosophical-religious traditions.

Lorenzo Pompeo, University of Trieste & University of Udine, Italy

About the Presenter(s)
Dr. Lorenzo Pompeo (1995) is currently a PhD Student in “History of Societies, Institutions and Thought. From Medieval to Contemporary History” (Philosophical curriuculum) at the University of Trieste and University of Udine, Italy.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00