Dennis Patrick OHara, DC, ND, BA, MDiv, PhD (St Michael's)
Dr. OHara graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1979 and the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1986, subsequently teaching at both of these colleges while practising as a chiropractor and naturopathic doctor. He attained a Master of Divinity degree in 1992, awarded conjointly by the University of Toronto and the University of St Michael's College. In 1998, he completed a PhD in theology from the University of St Michael s College. He also holds a specialization in theology and ecology awarded by the Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology located at the University of St Michael's College. The title of his doctoral thesis was: The Implications of Thomas Berrys Cosmology for an Understanding of the Spiritual Dimension of Human Health. Since 2002, he has been an assistant professor of ethics and eco-theology at St Michael's graduate Faculty of Theology and Director of the Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology at the University of St Michael's College, as well as being a core faculty member in that universitys Corporate Social Responsibility certificate programme. He has also been an associate faculty member for the Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto, co-teaching a graduate course in environment and health. He has been actively involved in exploring and resolving integrative healthcare issues having worked with the Natural Health Products Directorate in Health Canada, the Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Undergraduate Medical Education Group, and the World Health Organization. He was a co-investigator in the CIHR-funded Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Research. Dr. OHara has spoken to professional and academic gatherings in Canada, the United States and Europe on ecotheology, health care ethics, and the spiritual dimension of human health.
Eco-theology, eco-spirituality, eco-ethics, eco-theological anthropology, eco-feminism; medical ethics; environment and health; corporate social responsibility
Ecotheology (Introduction to Eco-theology; Eco-spirituality; Eco-ethics; Eco-feminism)
Ethics (Introduction to Ethics; Biomedical Ethics; Ecological Ethics; Corporate Ethics; Ethical Leadership)
Since beginning his employment at the Faculty of Theology, Dr. OHara has delivered 57 talks at universities and to professional gatherings on such topics as eco-theology, eco-spirituality and healthcare ethics. He has been actively engaged in preparing policy documents for both Health Canada and the World Health Organization, and more recently, has begun working with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Selected Publications and Presentations
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Natural Health Products Directorate Focussed Consultation with Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners on the Natural Health Products Regulations. Health Canada. 2005. Also published in French as: Direction des produits de sant naturels Consultation cible avec Les praticiens de soins de sant complmentaires et parallles Sur le Rglement sur les produits de sant naturels.
- Boon, Heather; Verhoef, Marja; OHara, Dennis; Findlay, Barbara. From Parallel Practice to Integrative Health Care: A Conceptual Framework. BMC Health Services Research 4 (2004).
- Boon, Heather; Verhoef, Marja; OHara, Dennis; Findlay, Barbara. Integrative Health Care: Arriving at a Working Definition. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 10, no. 5 (Sep/Oct 2004): 48-56.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Is There a Role for Prayer and Spirituality in Health Care? The Medical Clinics of North America (Spring, 2002): 56-76.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Focussed Consultation with the Research Community: Proposed Standards of Evidence for Natural Health Products. Health Canada. 2002. Also published in French as: Consultations Diriges Avec La Collectivit Des Chercheurs Normes De Preuve Pour Les Produits De Sant Naturels.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Priority Setting Conference for Natural Health Product Research in Children and Youth. Health Canada. 2002. Also published in French as: Confrence Sur Ltablissement Des Priorits Pour La Recherche Sur Les Produits De Sant Naturels Sur Les Enfants Et Les Jeunes.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Quality Controls and Product Standards Research Priority Setting Conference. Health Canada. 2002.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Invitational Roundtable on Research Reviewing and Assessing the Role of the Natural Health Products Directorate in Research. Health Canada. 2001. Also published in French as: Table ronde sur invitation portant sur la recherch Rvision et valuation du rle de la Direction des produits de sant naturels dans le domaine de la recherch.
- OHara, Dennis. Thomas Merton and Thomas Berry: Reflections from a Parallel Universe, The Merton Annual 13 (2000): 222-234.
- OHara, Dennis. Merton, Berry, and Eco-Theology Teilhard Studies 37 (1999): 1-20
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. The whole worldhas appeared as a transparent manifestation of the love of God: Portents of Thomas Merton as an Eco-Theologian The Merton Annual 9 (1996): 90-117
Works in Progress
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Thomas Merton and Thomas Berry: Reflections from a Parallel Universe. Chapter in Religion and Science: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, ed., Sara Fletcher Harding and Nancy Morvillo. London: Routledge, 2010.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. WHO Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Naturopathic Healthcare. World Health Organization. 2010. Publication forthcoming.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick and Allen Abelsohn. Ethical Response to Climate Change. Ethics and the Environment. Past second review; undergoing final review. 28 pp.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Awakening to a Spirituality that responds to the Ecological Crisis. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium. 14 pp. Accepted for review.
- OHara, Dennis Patrick. Health People for a Healthy Planet. Manuscript under review. 336 pp.
On the first Sunday of every month, Dr. OHara prepares and facilitates an eco-theological reflection on that Sundays lectionary readings. This Eco-Sabbath Gathering occurs at St. Gabriel's Parish the first church in North America to be awarded a LEED gold standard. (http://stgabrielsparish.ca/who-we-are/green-church/)
His passion for theology and ecology extends to his support of Torontos sports teams, particularly the Toronto Maple Leafs an example of hope in the presence of prolonged suffering.