“Scorsese’s Silence: Film as Practical Theodicy”

Abstract

Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusako Endo’s novel Silence takes up the anguished experience of God’s silence in the face of human su-ering. .e main character, the Jesuit priest Sabastião Rodrigues, /nds his faith gu0ed by the appalling silence of God. Yujin Nagasawa calls the particularly intense combination of the problems of divine hiddenness and evil the problem of divine absence. Drawing on the thought of Jesuit founder, Ignatius of Loyola, this essay will explores the way Scorsese’s Silence might enable viewers to both encounter the problem of divine absence and /nd a way of living with it, thereby o-ering a practical response to the problem of divine absence. .is mode of response makes the sort of a0itude Nagasawa recommends accessible by grounding it in an experience akin to catharsis, delivering a clarifying emotional consonance. In this sense, I will argue, /lm can be a practical theodicy.

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Ian Deweese-Boyd
Gordon College

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