Cedar Crest College Psychology Professor to Give Lecture in Vienna Next Week Based on his Latest Book
ALLENTOWN, PA – June 23, 2015 – A favorable review of his latest book in a trade publication is partially responsible for a Cedar Crest College psychology professor’s lecture next week at an institute in Vienna.
Dr. Micah Sadigh’s fifth book, Existential Journey: Viktor Frankl and Leo Tolstoy on Suffering, Death and the Search for Meaning was published in February 2014 and took 10 years to research and five years to write.
The book was reviewed in the International Forum for Logotherapy: Journal of Search for Meaning in 2013 as a preview. Eleanor Frankl, Viktor’s widow, read the review and as a result read Sadigh’s book, which lead to her calling him. She told him she believed it was the first time someone connected her late husband’s work to literature. Now in her 90’s, Mrs. Frankl invited him to travel to Vienna to meet her “before she dies.” The professor at the University of Vienna who originally put the two in touch invited Sadigh to give a lecture on his book at the Viktor Frankl Institute, also in Vienna.
It took almost a year for the right opportunity to present itself in order for Sadigh to make the trip. Cedar Crest’s MFA in Creative Writing Program was planning its 15-day summer residency in that same European city in July 2015, which created a perfect opportunity for Sadigh to travel to Vienna for the meeting and lecture while also giving three presentations to the students in the MFA program.
Sadigh will give his lecture, which he is dedicating to Mrs. Frankl, at the Viktor Frankl Institute on Wednesday, July 1.
Russian novelist Tolstoy experienced a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s leading him to write the non-fiction work A Confession. Frankl, the founder of logotherapy, a form of existential analysis, is best known for his book Man’s Search for Meaning about his imprisonment in a concentration camp during World War II and the need to find meaning in life in all situations as a reason to continue living.
In preparation to write his book, Sadigh read all of Tolstoy’s personal journals to get a better feel for who the writer was and what issues he struggled with most in relation to the meaning of life.
Frankl was a personal hero of Sadigh’s, having read his books while a student at Lehigh University, and in 2007 earning his Franklian diplomate credentials, which indicate that he is advanced and specialized in the field of Franklian psychology.
“After reading Tolstoy’s short work A Confession and Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning I felt that if only Tolstoy could have met Frankl, Frankl could have helped him.” The purpose of Sadigh’s latest book was to bring together these two men and their two different perspectives. “The book allows them to talk to each other near a century apart. Good novels promote conversation between the reader and the author, and that is what I am attempting to facilitate in my book between these two like-minded men whose lives only overlapped by five years.”
The invitation to lecture at the prestigious institute and to meet Mrs. Frankl is an honor of Sadigh. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would happen!” he said. “It certainly wasn’t something I set out to do when I wrote the book, but I am delighted that she read my book and enjoyed it and even felt that her husband would have appreciated it.”
“One important thing I’ve learned in writing this book is that the questions we ask ourselves today about the meaning of life are extremely important,” continued Sadigh. “In order to live we need to find and give meaning to our experiences. And it’s creating an active dialogue that allows us to change. As long as there is conversation, there is hope.”
Located in Allentown, Pa., Cedar Crest College was selected as a “Top Regional College” and “Best Value” in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The liberal arts college is committed to the education of women leaders in an increasingly global society. Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students—full-time, part-time and graduate—in more than 30 fields of study. Cedar Crest also provides opportunities for non-traditional and graduate students through its co-educational School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE). For more information, visit www.cedarcrest.edu.
Tracey Werner, Blabbermouth Communications