Ashland University Philosophy Professor Releases First Novel

Ashland University Philosophy Professor Releases First Novel

10/8/12 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Jeffrey Tiel, associate professor of philosophy at Ashland University, has written his first novel, a supernatural thriller titled “The Search for Melchizedek.” The book is available in print or Kindle formats exclusively at

Though an academic philosopher, Tiel’s travels throughout the Mediterranean basin as well as his work in the Ashland University Honors Program, convinced him of the universality of all disciplines and the importance of seeing ideas incarnated in flesh and bone. 

After the success of fictional works such as “The Da Vinci Code” that engage in thrilling though somewhat odd religious and philosophical ideas, Tiel decided that fiction would provide the perfect vehicle for the Renaissance concepts at the heart of his teaching. 

“I decided to reach into the Biblical storyline and extract an enigmatic character, Melchizedek, and set him in our world,” Tiel said. “We tend to think of such people with beards and shepherd’s crooks, when in fact human conflict and challenges are pretty much the same in any era. What differs is the way people handle them. 

“The ancient Epistle to the Hebrews contains a hitherto unnoticed enigma. It refers to a man without beginning or end—one who lives forever,” Tiel continued. “So, who and where is he? The Jews knew him only as the Wanderer. T. S. Eliot called him the Witness. And the early Christians named him Melchizedek.”

By resurrecting Melchizedek, Tiel succeeds in putting a deeply human face on a Biblical patriarch, ultimately shining a light on everyone’s own life and inspiring all to reach for the good, the true and the beautiful.

The novel tracks the investigation of Federal Agent Roger Quarston whose query into the origin of an ancient, blood-stained manuscript leads him to this same Melchizedek—whose revelation threatens allegiances, challenges faiths, cracks political foundations, enlivens ancient dynasties, and opens the promise of immortality and unimagined power.

Tiel, who joined Ashland University in 1998, previously taught at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., as well as Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He is an award-winning teacher, known for bringing ancient ideas to life.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

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