Protestants and God's Silence
In any kind of christianity where the word is less central, it is natural to feel more God’s silence. That’s why Endo’s or Scorsese’s “Silence” resonates so much in a roman catholic culture - it’s pretty obvious because it’s a roman catholic story.
I’m not saying that protestant christianity, being so focused on the centrality of the word, is immune to God’s silence. But the way we protestants perceive God’s silence is inside the word. Let me make it even more simple: for us protestants you know God is silent when you, reading the word, hear nothing. But the word is always inescapable.
Protestant christianity’s emphasis is that everything was made by the word and, because of that, the written word is the more reliable place for us to read and understand reality. We go from the word to the world, and not from the world to the word. Sure catholicism will not deny that everything was made by God’s word but its emphasis is different. In a catholic perspective the word tends to follows reality and in a protestant perspective reality follows the word (in a way, this is Aquinas’ scholasticism vs nominalists and Luther)
In a catholic culture the absurd will become a bigger aspect of life everytime there’s an absence of an explanatory word (or mostly in spite of the existence of an explanatory word). And so we get to books and movies like “Silence”. In a protestant culture the absurd is more easily confronted by the fact that, at least, you have a written word where lots of talking is happening.
So, protestants don’t feel so surprised by God’s silence because God’s speech is full of God’s silence. Go read the Bible and witness live on tape God’s silence happenning in Job’s life and, most crucially, in Jesus’ death. For us it’s business as usal. What’s the big surprise?
[Sorry for my english.]