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The Australian National University

James Mortensen

PhD student

BA (Hons) (UON)

James Mortensen

James commenced his doctoral studies at the National Security College in June 2015. He attained a Bachelor of Theology at the University of Newcastle in 2011 and achieved First class Honours (Religious Studies) the following year. After completing his studies James started a band, performing up and down the east coast of NSW, working in a variety of odd jobs, and writing academic articles on the topic of religious ethics and theology.

Research interests

Much of James’ past research has been philosophical in nature, and as a result much of his research retains a focus on phenomenology and poststructuralism, especially the works of Emmanuel Levinas and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. As well as this, his more practical research interests include religion and religious terrorism, concepts of securitization and critical theory, South East Asia, piracy, sovereignty and statelessness.

Thesis topic

James’ PhD dissertation focuses on securitization and its consistency and efficacy in security studies. By investigating key categories within securitization theory and their methodological and philosophical underpinnings, he hopes to apply a critique that can increase the utility and quality of future studies. These categories range from the methodological (such as norms and exceptions), the cultural (such as religion and sovereignty) and the institutional (such as the state).


“‘Unbroken Course’: Finding the unity of Bonhoeffer’s religious Ethics”, in The Bonhoeffer Legacy: Australasian Journal of Bonhoeffer Studies 2.2 (2014)

‘The Law and Ethics of Bonhoeffer’s Communal Christ’, paper presented at the Annual Australian Bonhoeffer Conference, Kingcumber, NSW, (2012)

Updated:  30 July 2015/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College