Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

How a Brush with Death Changed One Man’s Perception of the Afterlife with Sebastian Junger

Air Dates: June 10-16, 2024 

As a best-selling author, Sebastian Junger has taken us to sea with an ill-fated fishing boat and, as a documentarian, shown us the reality of war in Afghanistan. But his new book is his most intensely personal, a look at his own health crisis, the near-death experience it triggered, and how it shaped his views on an afterlife.  

Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times bestselling-author of “The Prefect Storm,” “Fire,” “A Death in Belmont,” “War,” “Tribe,” “Freedom” and his latest work, “In My Time of Dying.” An award-winning journalist, Junger is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film, “Restrepo”, a feature-length documentary co-directed with Tim Hetherington, was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.  

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Junger offers insight into how his perception of the afterlife was forever changed when an aneurysm almost claimed his life in June of 2020. After believing he saw his deceased father appear before him in the emergency room, Junger began studying the science behind this phenomenon. He says, “there may be something about the nature of reality, of consciousness, of the universe, of how things work at the subatomic quantum level. There may be something about that level of existence that we just do not understand.”

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and Mondays at 2:30 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.