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Wounds Not Healed By TimeThe Power of Repentance and Forgiveness$
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Solomon Schimmel

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195128413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195128419.001.0001

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The Essence of Repentance

The Essence of Repentance

(p.141) Six The Essence of Repentance
Wounds Not Healed By Time

Solomon Schimmel (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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