This Deep Pierian Spring: An Account of the Human Quest for Meaning
Fundamental questions about life arise in various contexts, making us wonder about the real worth of living. However, it is certainly a sign of our times when one is alerted to the fundamental question about the meaning and significance of life by an ominous text message. The main character of this book, Professor Enrique de los Reyes, receives such a warning: the onset of super-typhoon Haiyan, the strongest ever to hit landfall, and the impending danger to his friend and his relatives in the Philippines. As he anxiously awaits more news, he recalls and reviews in the context of this tragedy his philosophical wanderings throughout a long academic career in pursuit of the meaning of life. He wonders how these could now be reconciled with the urgent need for him to attend to this particular situation. The response to his query comes from a most unexpected source as he assesses Alexander Pope’s advice to drink deeply from the Pierian spring and realises its import for one’s conduct in life.
This reflective account of a human quest is the last volume in a trilogy which probes into philosophical themes in a narrative way. The first book, Those Distant Shores: A Narrative of Human Restlessness, looks at human restlessness and explores the fundamental theme of human transcendence by following the life-stories of three boyhood friends and of another young student as they embark on their respective journeys in life. The second book, That Elusive Fountain of Wisdom: A Tale of the Human Thirst for Knowledge, deals with the fundamental craving of human beings for fulfilment as depicted in the various characters from different countries who pursue their respective academic interests and ambitions.
M.F. Sia was Assistant Principal and Teacher of English at Terenure College, Dublin. S. Sia was Professor and Dean of Philosophy at Milltown Institute at the National University of Ireland and Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, LA. Both are recently retired, and have co-authored a number of scholarly books, journal articles, and conference papers, as well as literary works.
“[A] most delightful and intellectually stimulating philosophical novel. The beauty of this book lies in its drawing power to make the story told here our own, as we face life’s challenges and draw strength from the fountain of wisdom. A splendid book!”
Rev. Dr Raymun J. Festin, SVD
Professor of Philosophy, Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City, Philippines
“What is the meaning of it all? What is life all about? The authors know how to address these questions and how to bring them to life. They do it with great candour and mildness — and with a philosophical depth only a life-long search, both professionally and personally, can bring forth. A brilliant philosophical novel!”
Professor André Cloots
Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium
“It draws the reader into such an interesting world of literature and ideas, into the lives of the fictional characters and into the imaginative contexts in which the authors place them […] a narrative of a journey: the one which we all must take, from being an observer of things, to becoming, in some sense, co-creator of all human values.”
Rev. Dr Celia G. Kenny
Research Associate, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University, UK
“Thinking is a source of life…and an art. The Sias match this art. Their narrative leads to deep insights into life’s meaning that one would not have otherwise.”
Professor Dr. Hans-Joachim Sanders
Dogmatik, Universität Salzburg, Austria
"With their remarkable elegance and striking intelligence, the Sias probe the human search for significance in the midst of evil’s often grindingly depressing presence. In an age of many theological fictions of dubious value, this contribution is an outstanding resource. Generalists as well as students and scholars of all the“faith and fiction” field will want to ponder and procure this imaginative work."
Darren J.Middleton, Texas Christian University Religious Studies Review 43:3 (2017)
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