Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering

Makoto Fujimura (Author) Philip Yancey (Foreword by)


  • 2017 Logos Bookstore Association Award for Christianity/Culture
  • 2017 Dallas Willard Center Book Award Finalist
  • Foreword INDIES 2016 Book of the Year Awards Finalist
  • World Magazine's Best Books of 2016 Short List
  • 2016 Aldersgate Prize by the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Top Shelf Book Cover Award
  • 14th Annual Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year, Counseling and Relationships
  • Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2016
Shusaku Endo's novel Silence, first published in 1966, endures as one of the greatest works of twentieth-century Japanese literature. Its narrative of the persecution of Christians in seventeenth-century Japan raises uncomfortable questions about God and the ambiguity of faith in the midst of suffering and hostility. Endo's Silence took internationally renowned visual artist Makoto Fujimura on a pilgrimage of grappling with the nature of art, the significance of pain and his own cultural heritage. His artistic faith journey overlaps with Endo's as he uncovers deep layers of meaning in Japanese history and literature, expressed in art both past and present. He finds connections to how faith is lived in contemporary contexts of trauma and glimpses of how the gospel is conveyed in Christ-hidden cultures. In this world of pain and suffering, God often seems silent. Fujimura's reflections show that light is yet present in darkness, and that silence speaks with hidden beauty and truth.

Product Details

IVP Books
Publish Date
April 01, 2016
5.6 X 1.0 X 8.4 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Philip Yancey serves as editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine. He has written thirteen Gold Medallion Award-winning books and won two ECPA Book of the Year awards for What's So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew. Four of his books have sold over one million copies. Yancey lives with his wife in Colorado. Website:


"Fujimura--a renowned visual artist and writer whose paintings hang in top world museums--has illuminated the Gospels to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. He features the ideal of beauty--particularly the beauty born of sacrifice-- believing that art 'can heal as well as confound.' With these reflections, he explores the overlap of sacrifice and redemption, those ways faith lives in contemporary circumstances of pain and suffering. His pensive writing invites us to interrogate our own silences in the face of truth. Fujimura's journey is woven with Endo's, who demonstrates 'how powerfully God speaks through silence, ' how 'in the mystery of silence and beauty, ' God is revealed to 'speak through our broken lives.'"--Martha Dudich, Liguorian, July-August 2016
"Internationally renowned visual artist Makoto Fujimura reveals how faith is lived amid trauma--and how God is found in the midst of suffering and hostility. From his experience as an academic, an artist and a Japanese-American Christian, Fujimura takes us with him on his pilgrimage of grappling with the nature of art, the significance of pain and his own cultural heritage. Revealing layers of meaning in an array of sources--a classic novel, theology and the fine arts--Fujimura ultimately brings us to a new encounter with Christ. Beautifully crafted with evidence of careful thought at every turn."--Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, 14th Annual Outreach Resources of the Year, March/April 2017
"This graceful, expressive memoir reveals how Fujimura--an internationally renowned artist--ponders his own aesthetic and spiritual pilgrimage through the lens of Endo's modern spiritual classic. The result involves nine chapters that are as moving as they are many-sided. . . . This book is highly recommended, particularly for those students in advanced literature and religion classes as well as Christian seminary courses in pastoral care and post-Western missiology."--Darren J. N. Middleton, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 42, No. 3, September 2016
"Fujimura's work narrates a vision for cultural life that is expansive, inclusive, and truly beautiful. One does not have to be a Christian in the traditional sense of the word to contribute to culture in ways that are life-giving, redeeming, and beauty-filled. Indeed, Fujimura's work suggests that perhaps the truest articulations of Christianity are found in what is most hidden, ambiguous, and silent. Silence, for Endo and Fujimura, does not equate to abandonment, but rather ushers us into a new world charged with the glory and beauty of God."--Kathryn Bradford Heidelberger, SEEN/CIVA, XVI:2 2016