You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

3. The Cost of Discipleship

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we look at Bonhoeffer’s views on the cost of discipleship. In particular we look at (i) the historical context of the Reichkonkordat and the Nazis attempt to assimilate the Protestant church into the regime, through a process known as ‘Gleichschaltung’ (ii) the struggle between the Protestant church and Nazi state known as ‘Kirchenkampf’ (iii) Bonhoeffer’s role in the Confessing Church in 1935 (iv) Bonhoeffer’s distinction between ‘cheap’ and ‘costly’ grace in The Cost of Discipleship (v) the Christian message in Bonhoeffer’s teaching.


In this course Dr Stephen Plant (University of Cambridge) explores the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In the first module, we look at the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the historical context in which his theology emerged. In the second module, we delve closer into Bonhoeffer’s theology in an increasingly secular society, and his response to other theologians of his day. In the third module we examine Bonhoeffer’s emphasis on the cost of discipleship, in the context of changing dynamics between the church and Nazi state. In the fourth module, we explore Christian ethics in emergency, before turning to Bonhoeffer’s relevance today in the fifth module. In the sixth and final module, we investigate the role Bonhoeffer played in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, and explore the ethics of his involvement, with note to the relevance of hindsight.


Dr Stephen Plant is a lecturer in Christian theology and on ethics in the Faculty of Divinity. He has written and edited several books including Bonhoeffer (2004), The SPCK Introduction to Simone Weil and Taking Stock of Bonhoeffer ( 2014). His current research includes theology and international development, and the theology and life of Karl Barth.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Plant, S. (2022, May 16). Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer - The Cost of Discipleship [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Plant, S. "Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Cost of Discipleship." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 16 May 2022,

Image Credits