Stephen Backhouse


Dr. Stephen Backhouse is an organisational consultant, helping groups translate their ‘above the line’ theory into ‘below the line’ practice. He cares to make healthy institutions in which individuals flourish. He is the host of Tent Talks and The Hyphen. He is currently writing a book on power, organisations and leadership.

Stephen is an expert in the philosophy of power, holding multiple master’s degrees and a doctorate from the University of Oxford on the phenomena of religious nationalism. He is an internationally recognised leading authority on the political thought of Søren Kierkegaard, and the author of an award-winning biography. Kierkegaard sought healthy personal authenticity in the face of group dynamics and toxic cultures, and Stephen uses this philosophy in his work.

Stephen has undertaken commissions for universities, research firms, and think-tanks. He is an expert on leadership development: he designed two master’s degree courses in leadership, and he runs workshops and seminars in the profit and not-for-profit sectors. Stephen is often called on to teach on intern training programs for political parties on all points of the political spectrum. Corporate clients include tech start-ups, management consultancies, and business design studios. Non-profit clients range from small-scale food bank and health communication charities, to multinational relief agencies and anti-human trafficking NGOs.

Originally from Canada, Stephen now resides in the United Kingdom, and has lived for extended times in the United States. He has held positions as Director of Graduate Studies for St Mellitus College and as a Dean of Westminster Theological Centre. In 2019 Stephen was appointed to be one of twelve Commissioners for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, a national scheme incorporating charity, government, business, and other stakeholders in the housing crisis.

He is the host of two popular podcasts: in The Hyphen he joins with Rabbi Avi Finegold to discuss Judaeo-Christian culture. Tent Talks seeks the renewing of our social and political imagination through in-depth interviews with artists, activists, and other thought-leaders. Guests include US presidential candidate and native campaigner Mark Charles, bestselling authors Wm Paul Young and Kristin Kobez Du Mez, activists Lisa Sharon Harper and Shane Claiborne, Professor Obery M Hendricks Jr. and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Stephen is a sought-after teacher and commentator and has published many articles, chapters, and magazine pieces on politics, philosophy, and history.


DPhil University of Oxford (2008)
MSt (Research) University of Oxford (2005)
MA Religious Studies McGill University, Montreal (2003)
BA Joint Honours Philosophy & Theology University of Oxford (2001)

Kierkegaard’s Critique of Christian Nationalism

 Oxford University Press, 2011

  • Backhouse’s monograph of his Oxford doctoral thesis, published, with distinction, by OUP.
  • A leading text on Christian nationalism.
  • Established Backhouse as an internationally recognized expert in the field.

Kierkegaard: A Single Life

Zondervan-Harper Collins, 2016

  • Biography of the Year, 2017, Christianity Today Magazine
  • Translated into Portuguese for the Brazilian market
  • Subject of an online and DVD course
  • Film rights currently under option with a production company

Essential Companion to Christian History

Zondervan-Harper Collins, 2019

  • Translated into French and Czech
  • Subject of an online and DVD course

Meet the team