A Conversation with Martin Scorsese on Faith and Film

“Where do I go to find the meaning of existence and the meaning of life? For me, it’s Christianity. That’s the real saving grace of our world, of our species really. What is it? What do we have to do to make Christianity real and realize it? How do we behave?”

+ Martin Scorsese, Academy Award-winning director, at Fuller’s screening of his new film Silence, a story of Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Japan based on the novel by Shusaku Endo. He is pictured with Brehm Center Director Mako Fujimura (left) and Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture Kutter Callaway (right). Sponsored by the Brehm Center’s Reel Spirituality initiative, the film created space to reflect on faith, suffering, and more.

Silence & Beauty cover+ We’re happy to share with you a selection from Mako’s book Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering, a companion piece to Endo’s novel and an extended meditation on faith, suffering, and Japanese culture. Click here for a free download of the first chapter.


Martin Scorsese at Chris Slatoff's Cross

“One of the challenges for evangelical Christians is that we’re not very good at being conversationalists. We tend to speak before we listen, and when we do that, we’re not actually hearing what the culture is saying. If theology and the Christian faith is going to be intelligible or make sense to anyone in the modern world, it really has to come from a place of being conversant with culture.”

+ Kutter Callaway, assistant professor of theology and culture, from Watching TV Religiously: Television and Theology in Dialogue. Listen to Kutter and screenwriter Dean Batali discuss television and theology in their podcast Televisual Theology. After the screening, Martin Scorsese (pictured above) walked through Fuller’s Pasadena campus and examined a statue of the crucifixion by Brehm Center Artist-in-Residence Chris Slatoff.

“Endo was a writer of compassion who wanted to capture something about humanity that all of us can enter into; that place of vulnerability and weakness is exactly the place where God’s grace can be poured into.”

+ Mako Fujimura, director of the Brehm Center, from his video reflections on Silence, Japanese culture, and more available here.

“I know ‘there’s a wideness in God’s mercy I cannot find in my own,’ and all of our theological pondering and posturing does nothing to expand or contract God’s love, a love that radiates upon history of its own accord, seeping into even the most remote and ‘unreachable’ corners of Creation and of the human heart, a love that ‘will not let me go,’ even when I let go of it.”

+ Elijah Davidson, co-director of Brehm Center’s Reel Spirituality initiative, in his review of Scorsese’s film adaption of Silence. Read the full review and listen to members of the Brehm community discuss their reactions to the film.

+ This playlist was curated by FULLER studio editors and friends of Fuller in response to the film, and we offer it here as a soundtrack guiding us to prayerful silence: