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Necessary Reflections on Martin Scorsese's "Silence": Religious Violence in the Seventeenth Century, as Seen from Japan

Bayer, Achim

Martin Scorsese’s movie “Silence” shows the arrival of two Jesuit priests in Japan (1639) and the ensuing struggles of Japanese Christian converts who defied the order to the ruling Shogun. Although the imagery of Scorsese’s movie is captivating, the story itself is surprisingly naive in neglecting the role of Jesuit mission in the Spanish colonization of the Pacific realm. This colonization brought with it forced conversions and executions of non-Christians, both forms of religious violence that had their roots in the recent history of Europe.

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