Prof. Stephen Scharper

Director of Sustainability (on leave); TRN140Y1 Ethics, Humans, and Nature
Fellow of the College
Gerald Larkin Building: 15 Devonshire Pl, LA 320, 3rd Floor
Tel: 416-978-3293  83293

BA English, University of Toronto, 1982

MA Theology, Toronto School of Theology, 1986

PhD Religious Studies, McGill University, 1997

Teaching Area:
Teaching is in the areas of environmental ethics, environment, culture and film, religious ethics and the environment, worldviews and ecology, liberation theology, ethics of violence and nonviolence as well as nature and the city.

Research Interests:
Past research concerns the involvement of religion in environmental concerns, and the type of rethinking within religious traditions the ecological challenge has spawned, especially in the areas of cosmology, ontology, religious anthropology, and ethics, with a specialization on the possibilities, prospects, and challenges of Christian involvement in this emerging conversation. Current research builds on my previous investigation into the ontological questions of the human role brought into question by ecological concerns and examines issues of poverty and social justice in connection to ecological approaches. I am continuing to probe the implications of the preferential option for the poor and a liberationist perspective for environmental studies. My research explores the question to what extent the “ecological crisis” runs along the same fault lines as economic, political, racial and gendered oppression, and the challenges raised by religious juxtaposition of social justice perspectives and cosmological perspectives in an environmental context.


• Book. For Earth’s Sake: Toward a Compassionate Ecology. Toronto: Novalis, 2013.
• Book. The Natural City: Re-envisioning the Built Environment. Co-edited with Ingrid Stefanovic. University of Toronto Press, 2012.
• Book. Redeeming the Time: A Political Theology of the Environment. Continuum Publishing Company, New York, 1997 (cloth), 1998 (paper) (third printing 2005).

• Article. Liberation Theology’s Critique of the Developmentalist Worldview: Implications for Religious Environmental Engagement, Environmental Philosophy, Volume 3 (1) (Spring) 2006: 47-69.
• Article. (co-written with Hilary Cunningham) The Genetic Commons: Resisting the Neoliberal Enclosure of Life, Social Analysis: The International Journal of Cultural and Social Practice, Volume 50 (3) (Winter) 2006: 193-202.
• Article. Finding Our Place: The Ecological Challenge to Being Human, in Econightmare: Culpability, Responsibility and the Environmental Crisis. ed. Anthony Luengo. Walter Gordon Massey Symposium Papers. Massey College Publications, 2006, 35-46.
• Article. Philip J. Scharper and the Editorial Vocation: Publishing Ideas of Consequence, U.S. Catholic Historian, Volume 21 (3) 2003: 19-35.
• Article. Democracy, Cosmology and “The Great Work” of Thomas Berry, Worldviews, Volume 5 (Fall) 2001: 188-197.

• Book Chapter. Christianity and Ecological Awareness. In When Worlds Converge: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Story of the Universe and Our Place in It. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Cliff Matthews, and Philip Hefner, eds. Chicago, Ill: Open Court Press, 2001: 273-282.
• Book Chapter. The Ecological Crisis. The Twentieth Century: A Theological Perspective, Gregory Baum, ed. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1999: 219-227.

• Article. The Gaia Hypothesis: Implications for a Christian Political Theology of the Environment, Cross Currents, Volume 44 (2) (Summer 1994), 207-221. (French edition: La portoe de l’hypothese Gaia sur une theologie politique Chrotienne de l’environnement, Religiologiques, Volume 10 [March] 1995: 325-355)
• Article. “Civil Disobedience Goes Green,” Toronto Star, September 12, 2011, p. A15.
• Article. The “West’s Economy Needs an Overhaul, Not Fine-Tuning,” Toronto Star, August 15, 2011, p. A17.
• Article. “Living with Toronto’s Multicultural Reality,” Toronto Star, July 17, 2011, p. A17.
• Article. “Rioting and the Culture of Violence,” Toronto Star, June 20, 2011, p. A23.
• Article. “A Fiery Environmental Apocalypse,” Toronto Star, May 23, 2011, p. A17.
• Article. “No Welcome Mat for Environmentalists,” Toronto Star, April 25, 2011, p. A23.
• Article. “Libyan Intervention: A Just War or Just a War,” Toronto Star, March 28, 2011, p. A23.
• Article. “Great Lakes Are No Place for Radioactive Cargo” Toronto Star, February 21, 2011, p. A11.
• Article. “Truth, Lies, and Broadcasting in Canada,” Toronto Star, January 24, 2011, p. A23.
• Article. “Christmas Invites Us to Make Peace on Earth a Reality,” Toronto Star, December 24, 2010, p. A23.

Awards, Affiliations, Personal Interests, etc.:

• Fellow, Lonergan Research Institute, Regis College, 2013
• Senior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto, 2011
• Member, Canadian Pugwash Group (invitation only), 2010
• Associate Fellow, Trinity College, University of Toronto, 2010
• Faculty Associate, Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, 2007
• Selected for Who’s Who in Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2004.
• Selected for Who’s Who in the 21st Century, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England, 2002.
• Selected for Who’s Who in Religion, 1992-93, Fourth edition, Marquis Publications.
• Visiting Fellow, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, 1998-2004.
• Senior Resident, Massey College, University of Toronto, 1997-1999.
• Fellow, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, 1996-1999.
• The John A. O’Brien Visiting Chair in Ethics, University of Notre Dame, 1998-1999.

Stephen Scharper