March 8, 2015
Honors Faculty Fellow Dr. Darren Middleton, a professor of religion, recently published two books: one on the famed Japanese novel “Silence” (co-edited with fellow TCU religion professor Dr. Mark Dennis) and the second on the religious underpinnings of the Rasta movement.
Academy Award winning film director Martin Scorsese contributed to Dennis and Middleton’s “Approaching Silence: New Perspectives on Shusaku Endo’s Classic Novel” and is working on a film about “Silence” starring Liam Neeson due out in 2016.
Shusaku Endo is celebrated as one of Japan’s great modern novelists and “Silence” is considered by literary critics to be his masterpiece.
“Approaching Silence” is both a celebration of this award-winning novel as well as a significant contribution to the growing body of work on literature and religion. It features eminent scholars writing from Christian, Buddhist, literary, and historical perspectives, taking up, for example, the uneasy alliance between faith and doubt; the complexities of discipleship and martyrdom; the face of Christ; and, the bodhisattva ideal as well as the nature of suffering. It also frames “Silence” through a wider lens, comparing it to Endo’s other works as well as to the fiction of other authors.
Middleton and Dennis were recently interviewed about the book. You can listen to the full interview athttp://www.unity.fm/episode/WorldSpirituality_030315.
Read more about “Approaching Silence” at http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/approaching-silence-9781623569839#sthash.HSVvshj7.dpuf.
In “Rastafari and the Arts: An Introduction,” Middleton draws on literary, musical, and visual representations of and by Rastafari. Middleton provides an introduction to Rasta through the arts.
Rasta’s association with reggae music, dub, and performance poetry often overshadows the religious underpinnings of the Rasta movement. “Rastafari and the Arts: An Introduction” takes a fresh view of Rasta, considering the relationship between the artistic and religious dimensions of the movement in depth.
Middleton’s analysis complements current introductions to Afro-Caribbean religions and offers an engaging example of the role of popular culture in illuminating the beliefs and practices of emerging religions. Recognizing that outsiders as well as insiders have shaped the Rasta movement since its modest beginnings in Jamaica, Middleton includes interviews with members of both groups.
Middleton was also interviewed about this book. You can listen to that interview here:http://www.unity.fm/episode/WorldSpirituality_031015.
Read more about “Rastafari and the Arts” at http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415831895/.
He has been on a research sabbatical for the 2014-15 academic year and will return to teaching Honors and religion courses in the fall.