Scharper, Stephen

MScSM Program Director (acting); Associate ProfessorAnthropology
Stephen Scharper

Dr. Stephen Scharper is associate professor at the School of the Environment and the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is also cross-appointed in the department of anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, and is associate faculty with the Toronto School of Theology.

A Senior Fellow of Massey College and a Fellow of Trinity College, Dr. Scharper holds a Masters in Theology from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McGill University, where his thesis supervisor was Professor Gregory Baum.

Dr. 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).

Embodying the values of “public scholarship” and a deep commitment to engaging with environmental issues, Dr. Scharper currently serves as a columnist for The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. He has appeared as commentator on TVO’s “The Agenda,” CTV News, VISION-TV, CityPulse 24, and CBC’s Counterspin as well as CBC Radio’s “Tapestry,” “Sounds Like Canada,” “Here and Now, ” “The Current,” and “The World at Six.”

He has also contributed over 500 reviews and articles to various academic and popular journals, including Religious Studies Review, Worldviews, Environmental Philosophy, The University of Toronto Quarterly, Social Analysis, as well as Commonweal, America, Alternatives, The National Catholic Reporter, The Hour, The Montreal Gazette, The Walrus, and The Globe and Mail.

Formerly President of the Religious Education Association of the US and Canada, and editor with Orbis Books and Novalis, Dr. Scharper has taught at McGill University, Prescott College, the University of Waterloo, the University of Vermont, and the University of Notre Dame, where he held the John A. O’Brien Chair in Ethics as a Visiting Professor.

Providing a unique blend of the scholarly and the accessible in both histeaching and public speaking, Dr. Scharper has addressed and inspired a wide range of audiences and remains a much sought-after lecturer.