Revisiting the 'Cost of Discipleship' in the aftermath of military service: Insights for Christian communal life in a secular Swedish context

Jan Grimell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


This article applies Bonhoeffer's description of Christian discipleship to research literature on military culture and costs of military service. Bonhoeffer's theological understanding of discipleship illustrates a calling, subordination, obedience, discipline, loyalty, mission focus and the cost thereof, and a collectivistic approach. These are commonly understood as core features of military communal life and service. This article suggests that service members may have a certain cultural disposition which resonates to Bonhoeffer's teachings of discipleship. Christian communities may serve as cultural platforms capable of assisting veterans in transition from military to civilian life and supporting their reintegration into society. Additionally, veterans may reinvigorate Christian discipleship by bringing these closer to the teachings of Bonhoeffer which may work in the service of renewed commitment and devotion. This could serve the larger society; it may have a positive influence upon communal life as well as the individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-43
Number of pages16
JournalEcclesial Practices
Issue number1
Early online date15 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • Christian discipleship
  • Community
  • Culture
  • Veterans

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