The Theological Ethics team at the University of Aberdeen cooperate closely with colleagues in the two related subject areas of Systematic and Practical Theology, as well as having a sympathetic relationship to a range of other disciplines in the wider university.

Theological Ethics in Aberdeen

Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen draws upon a rich tradition of Christian moral thought for understanding and engaging contemporary issues and debates. On the one hand, this involves carefully attending to core concepts such as love, freedom, justice, discipleship and sanctification, and attending to the work of major theologians in the tradition on their own terms, including such thinkers as Augustine, Luther, Hamann, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer and Hauerwas. On the other hand, the work of Theological Ethics entails engaging a range of contemporary debates, including issues in bioethics, social ethics, political ethics, environmental ethics, and others. 


We are interested in hearing from students wishing to undertake postgraduate level work in Theological Ethics at the doctoral level. Please contact one of the supervisors below if you are thinking about applying for a PhD in their subject area.

Dr Brian Brock: Supervision is offered in Augustine, Martin Luther, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans Ulrich; scripture, creation, moral reasoning and tradition; and technology, theology and disability, medical ethics, environmental ethics, and ethics and economics.

Dr Michael Laffin: Supervision is offered in Augustine, Martin Luther, J.G. Hamann, Hannah Arendt, John Milbank, and Oswald Bayer; political theology, theology and political philosophy, genealogical methodology; and worship as political practice, Lutheran ethics, ethics and Christian doctrine.

Dr Michael Mawson: Supervision is offered in Immanuel Kant, G.W.F Hegel, Søren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Howard Yoder and John Milbank; community, sin, Christ, formation and responsibility; and social ethics, theology and disability, and bioethics, war and peace.

PGR Students

Some current (and graduated) students and their projects from the University of Aberdeen include:

  • Claire Hein Blanton, Between Resistance and Collaboration: Locating Ecclesial Responsibility to Government Action in the Political Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Andrew Errington, Wisdom and moral deliberation in theological ethics and the book of Proverbs
  • Caireen Likely, I Still Eat the Bread: Embodiment, Passive Receiving, and the Reimaging of Subjectivity in Old Age
  • David Lilley, Freedom, Contentment, and Joy: The Fidelity-Producing Sabbath in Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Creation

The following are some selected publications relating to Theological Ethics by staff at the University of Aberdeen:

Dr Brian Brock

Dr Michael Laffin

  • The Promise of Martin Luther's Political Theology: Freeing Luther from the Modern Political Narrative. T&T Clark Enquiries in Theological Ethics, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London and New York.

Dr Michael Mawson


Some helpful links for further information and resources in Theological Ethics include: