When Stephen Scharper saw his childhood nature area bulldozed to make way for a new rec centre, he felt a spark alight within him.
It was a deep understanding that the health of natural world is a direct reflection of the health our societies. And that in order to save one, we have to fight for the health of both.
And this belief has driven his curiosity about the cosmic connection between us and the natural world in every aspect of his life.
Prof. Stephen and I talk about his life-long fascination with nature and his adventure-filled childhood among the forests, creeks and toboggan hills of suburban Conneticut.
He reflects on the memory of Richard Nixon visiting that rec centre as the moment he realized we have to fight for what we value. And fueled his commitment to the social justice movements of the 1980s & 90s.
And he shares his belief that we need to find joy in the hard work of social change. Because without it, we're missing a key part of the cosmic experience.
Because how do you make a difference, and make sure you're not running on empty?
This is his story.
Stephen Scharper is an associate professor at the Department of Anthropology and the School of the Environment at The University of Toronto. He is the author of several books on theology and ecology, including a new edition of The Green Bible, released in November, 2020.
Find Stephen's Breathing With Nature Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Find out more about his story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.