Richard J. Severson
Welcome to my website! I am a retired academic librarian with a passion for writing about things that matter to me. I studied biology in college and later earned my PhD in religion and ethics from the University of Iowa. My first book—Time, Death, and Eternity (1995)—was a revision of my dissertation, in which I compared St. Augustine’s ancient psychological theory of time-consciousness with Martin Heidegger’s modern version of it. I have been obsessed about the role of time in human cognitive evolution ever since. My latest book, Medicine, A Phenomenological Inquiry (2021), represents my best thinking on the subject. I grew up on the windswept plains of South Dakota, and currently live in Oregon.
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The Crucified Monk
This post is an excerpt from “The Crucified Monk,” a mystery novel that I recently published on the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform. It’s a story about a Trappist monastery in the backwoods of Oregon that is being forced to close its doors because nobody wants to be a monk anymore. One of the monks…
I get up at 4:30 am most every morning. I have no need for an alarm clock; instead, Ray gives me a gentle nudge with his long dog nose at the appointed time. That’s when we take our first walk of the day together. It’s still dark outside, and often raining now that we are…
Into the Back Country
Recently, I went on a horse packing trip into the back country of Yellowstone National Park. It was a five-day excursion that nevertheless called to mind the mysterious expanse of eternity. There were seven other paying customers like me, and three guides. Shane was the head wrangler, a quiet, purposeful man who had equal gifts…