Martin Scorsese‘s celebrated new film Silence, based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel, is an intense journey about the nature of faith — and what people will do when their beliefs are threatened. The film and book take place in 17th century Japan, where converts to Roman Catholicism are persecuted by those in power — and face life-or-death decisions about whether to keep or abandon their faith.
In Faith Stripped to Its Essence (ACTA Publications, September 2016), Patrick T. Reardon has written a guide that, in his introduction, he calls a “pilgrimage through the discordant voices of faith in Endō’s novel.” Reardon’s 111-page book features brief, reader-friendly chapters that break down the subject matter of Endō’s complex novel into thought-provoking, accessible material. Questions for individual reflection or group discussion appear at the end of each chapter.
Reardon’s book is an essential addition to the canon of writing — both fiction and nonfiction — that endeavors to bridge differences among religious groups and focus on the significant questions that all believers need to address. “What are we required to do because of our faith?” Reardon writes. “What does it mean to believe?”
If you plan to see Scorsese’s film — or if you’ve already seen it — Faith Stripped to Its Essence will enhance and deepen your viewing experience of Silence, and provide material for reflection for years to come.
Find Faith Stripped to Its Essence by Patrick T. Reardon at Amazon.com. This beautiful volume also makes an impressive gift — for the modest price of $12.95.