LISTEN: Spirituality as Quest, Pt. 10 — Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha”; Reading a Story, Pt. 13 — John Updike (Literature and Spirituality #14 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Literature is defined as “imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value.” Spirituality is defined as “the quality or state of being concerned with religion or religious matters.” The purpose of this podcast is to examine how these two subjects intersect with one another and how they relate to our lives.

Our passage from the Word of God today is 2 Chronicles 35:25 which reads: “And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.”

Our quote today is from Cyril Connolly. He said: “While thoughts exist, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt, and “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Our first topic for today is “Spirituality as Quest, Part 10” from the book, “Literature and Spirituality” by Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Mark Ray Schmidt.

We are continuing our selection from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha:

The Ferryman (Part 3)
Siddhartha stayed with the ferryman and learned to operate the boat, and when there was nothing to do at the ferry, he worked with Vasudeva in the rice-field, gathered wood, plucked the fruit off the banana-trees. He learned to build an oar, and learned to mend the boat, and to weave baskets, and was joyful because of everything he learned, and the days and months passed quickly. But more than Vasudeva could teach him, he was taught by the river. Incessantly, he learned from it. Most of all, he learned from it to listen, to pay close attention with a quiet heart, with a waiting, opened soul, without passion, without a wish, without judgement, without an opinion.


Our second topic for today is “Reading a Story, Part 14” from the book, “Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing” by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

John Updike
John Updike (1932-2009), was born in Pennsylvania, received his B. A. from Harvard, then went to Oxford to study drawing and fine art. In the mid-1950s he worked on the staff of the New Yorker, at times doing errands for the aged James Thurber. Although he left the magazine to become a full-time writer, Updike continued to supply it with memorable stories, witty light verse, and searching reviews. A famously prolific writer, he published more than fifty books. Updike is best known as a hardworking, versatile, highly productive writer of fiction. For his novel “The Centaur” (published in 1963) he received a National Book Award, and for “Rabbit Is Rich” (published in 1982) a Pulitzer Prize and an American Book Award. The fourth and last Rabbit Angstrom novel, “Rabbit at Rest” (published in 1990), won him a second Pulitzer. Updike is one of the few Americans ever to be awarded both the National Medal of Arts (1989) and the National Humanities Medal (2003) – the nation’s highest honors in each respective field. His many other books include “The Witches of Eastwick” (published in 1984), made into a successful film starring Jack Nicholson, “Terrorist” (published in 2006), and his final novel, “The Widows of Eastwick” (published in 2008).


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.