The cinematic summoned self: the call of Christ in Martin Scorsese’s Silence

Joel Mayward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

American filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s theologically imbued cinematic approach arguably reached its apotheosis in his 2016 film Silence, an adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel. Through my theological film criticism, a novel constructive form of theologizing I call “theocinematics,” I propose that Silence is both a cinematic theology about vocation in its meditation on a fervent young priest’s discernment of the voice of Christ and Scorsese’s modus operandi par excellence—Silence is film as theology and filmmaking as vocation. In my analysis, I draw from philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics and his concept of “the summoned self” to provide a framework for an intersubjective divinely given vocation. I also attend to film theorist Michel Chion’s notion of the acousmêtre and its use in Silence to depict the summoning voice of Christ.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPro Ecclesia
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2021

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