BA Hons, MA (Victoria University of Wellington); PhD (The University of Notre Dame)

Senior Lecturer


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272521
The University of Aberdeen KCF11, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, King's College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen. AB24 3UB

Bonhoeffer Studies at the University of Aberdeen

Society for the Study of Christian Ethics



I grew up in New Zealand attending Anglican and Presbytarian churches. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and History and a Master's degree in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. My interest in ethics emerged from practical involvements in youth work and community development, in particular with the Urban Vision community.  I also worked as an educator and researcher for the Anglican Social Justice Commission of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

I undertook my doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. My dissertation was on the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and was supervised by Gerald McKenny (the committee included Cyril O’Regan, Jennifer Herdt and Robin Lovin). While at Notre Dame I was involved with the Sant’ Egidio community at the Cardinal Nursing Home.


Research Interests

My research focuses on theological ethics in the context of nineteenth and early twentieth-century German theology and philosophy. I recently completed on a book on Bonhoeffer's ecclesiology, and am beginning a new project on theology and ageing. I have additional research interests in ecclesiology and ethics, Lutheran theology, disability studies, phenomenology, bioethics, and political theology.



Editor, with Philip Ziegler, The Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Oxford: OUP, forthcoming (2019).

Editor, with Brian Brock, The Freedom of a Christian Ethicist: The Future of a Reformation Legacy. T&T Clark Bloomsbury, 2016.  (See reviews, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Editor, with Philip Ziegler, Christ, Church and World: New Studies in Bonhoeffer's Theology and EthicsT&T Clark Bloomsbury, 2016.  (See reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6 ).

Editor, with Adam Clark, Ontology and Ethics: Bonhoeffer and Contemporary Scholarship. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013.

Editor of a special issue of The Journal of Religion Disability and Health. Vol.17:3, 2013.

Research Grants

With Philip Ziegler, Research Workshops in Arts and Humanities funding from The Royal Society of Edinburgh for The Challenge of Bonhoeffer's Theology for Ethics and Public Life, 2013.


Teaching Responsibilities

DR2565 Exploring the Tradition of Western Ethics

DR301U Theology Against the Nazis: The Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

DR4581/DR551Q Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics 

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Committee Member of The Society for the Study of Christian Ethics

Admin Responsibilities


Undergraduate Programme Coordinator for Divinity and Religious Studies 

Presentations and Contributions to Conferences

A seminar presentation 'Bonhoeffer and Discipleship' for the conference 'Bonhoeffer for Pastors' organised by the Centre for Ministry Studies. March, 2015.

An invited paper 'How God Suffers: Bonhoeffer, Moltmann and Theological Language.'  For the Bonhoeffer Colloquium in Zurich, 2014.

'Disability and Theology.' Lecture for a bioethics course at the University of St Andrews, July, 2014.

'Creation or Eschatology? Theological Resources for a Relational Understanding of Personhood.' The Society for the Study of Theology, April 2014.

A lecture titled 'Disability, Theology and Medicine' for the KLICE/ Christian Medicial Fellowship conference 'Finding Christ in Secular Medicine'.  2013.

'The Limit of the Other: Theological Approaches to Personhood and Quality of Life'.  The European Society for the Study of Theology and Disability.  Lille, France, June, 2013.

'The Politics of Jesus and the Ethics of Christ: Yoder and Bonhoeffer on Discipleship and Community'. Ecclesia and Ethics, The University of St. Andrews, May, 2013.

'Subjectivity and Embodiment'. Seminar at Victoria University of Wellington. July, 2012.

'Theology and Disability'. Seminar at Otago University. July, 2012.

Organized and proposed the panel 'Teaching Disability in the Christian Tradition' for the Religion and Disability Group and Teaching Religion Section of the American Academy of Religion.  Chicago, November, 2012.

'Subjectivity and Embodied Limits: Deborah Creamer’s Disability and Christian Theology'.  The Religion and Disability Studies group of the American Academy of Religion, November 2011.

'Ethics on the Way: Bonhoeffer’s Ethics and Hegelian Sittlichkeit'. The Society of Christian Ethics, January 2011. 



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Contributions to Journals


  • Mawson, M. (2016). 'Suffering Christ’s Call: Discipleship and the Cross'. The Bonhoeffer Legacy: Australasian Journal of Bonhoeffer Studies, vol 3, no. 2, 1.
    [Online] AURA: Suffering_Christ_27s_Call_5bwith_intro_5d.pdf
  • Mawson, M. (2014). 'Theology and Social Theory: Reevaluating Bonhoeffer's Approach'. Theology Today, vol 71, no. 1, pp. 69-80.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1177/0040573613518549
  • Mawson, M. (2013). 'Subjectivity and embodied limits: Deborah Creamer’s Disability and Christian Theology'. Journal of religion, disability & health, vol 17, no. 4, pp. 409-417.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1080/15228967.2013.840962
  • Mawson, M. (2013). 'The Spirit and the Community: Pneumatology and Ecclesiology in Jenson, Hütter and Bonhoeffer'. International Journal of Systematic Theology, vol 15, no. 4, pp. 453-468.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1111/ijst.12038
  • Mawson, M. (2009). 'Understandings of nature and grace in John Milbank and Thomas Aquinas'. Scottish Journal of Theology, vol 62, no. 3, pp. 347-361.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1017/S0036930609004773
  • Mawson, M. (2006). 'Enough is Enough!: Civil Unions, Religious Prejudice and the Limits of Secular Tolerance'. Australian Religion Studies Review, vol 19, no. 1, pp. 53-74.
  • Mawson, M. (2006). 'Believing in Protest: The Liberal Ideal of the Separation of Religion and Politics in Two Recent Religious Protests'. New Zealand Journal of Sociology , vol 21, no. 2, pp. 196-214.
    [Link] http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE9432092&dps_custom_att_1=ilsdb
  • Mawson, M. (2005). 'Natural Human Rights and the Problem of Global Capitalism'. Human Rights Research Journal, vol 3, pp. 1-18.

Reviews of Books, Films and Articles

  • Mawson, M. (2017). 'The Hidden God: Luther, Philosophy, and Political Theology'. Political Theology, vol 18, no. 8, pp. 755-757.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2017.1364499
  • Mawson, MG. (2015). 'Review of Michael DeJonge's 'Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation''. Scottish Journal of Theology, vol 68, no. 3, pp. 366-368.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1017/S0036930614000416
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