The Essence of Repentance

Solomon Schimmel

in Wounds Not Healed By Time

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195128413
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834648 | DOI:
The Essence of Repentance

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This chapter traces the development of the concept and religious value of repentance in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as applied to human‐divine and to human–human relationships. The chapter then focuses on repentance in interpersonal relationships, analyzing the psychological aspects of repentance, including acknowledgment of wrongdoing, remorse, and guilt, and its behavioral requirements, such as apology and reparation. It compares and contrasts the understandings of repentance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and uses Shakespeares's Macbeth and other literary works to help illuminate its emotional and psychological dimensions. Other topics discussed are repentance as a transformation of one's character and value system, why it is so difficult to repent, how to get oneself to repent, and the role that repentance, as a religious or as a secular value, can play in psychotherapy.

Keywords: apology; character; Christianity; guilt; Islam; Judaism; psychotherapy; remorse; reparation; secular

Chapter.  17885 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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