Stephen Scharper

University of Toronto

Research Interests: Religious ethics and the environment

Stephen ScharperDr. Scharper’s research and teaching are in the areas of environmental ethics, worldviews and ecology, liberation theology, as well as nature and the city. His most recent book, For Earth’s Sake: Toward a Compassionate Ecology (Novalis 2013), explores the notion of how we are being called to develop an affective relationship with the natural world in light of contemporary ecological challenges. His other books include The Natural City: Re-envisioning Human Settlements (co-editor, University of Toronto Press), The Green Bible, co-written with his spouse, Hilary Cunningham, and Redeeming the Time: A Political Theology of the Environment (Continuum).


Falling in love with the Earth: Pathways to hope in a time of environmental challenge

Our current environmental state is prompting a re-examination of the fundamental goals and purpose of what our place and role are as a human community. While the contours of our environmental destruction are being highlighted both scientists and social scientists, the effect on our personal lives, and spirits, is less heralded, and can often lead to paralysis and despair. Where do we find hope and galvanizing energy in a time of climate chaos? Building on the pioneering work of Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Thomas Berry, and E.O. Wilson, we can find pathways of hope by entering into new relationships with our ecosystems, communities, and ourselves, one that involves an ecology of compassion, and “falling in love” with the earth.