Metanoia in Luke-Acts: Recent Approaches and Fresh Insights

For this year’s SBL Annual Meeting in Boston two paper proposals that I made were accepted. I will read my first paper in the Gospel of Luke section on “Metanoia in Luke-Acts: Recent Approaches and Fresh Insights” at 11/19/2017, 2:30 PM.

For those who might be interested in, I attach the text of my proposal:

Metanoia is a topic of great importance in Luke-Acts. The concept of “metanoia” is, however, debated in recent scholarship. Therefore the paper summarizes important contributions in recent research on metanoia in Luke-Acts (e.g. J.-W. Taeger, H. Schönfeld, C. Stenschke, F. Méndez-Moratalla, M. Kim-Rauchholz, J.B. Green) in a first section.

In a second section it is shown that narrative representations of metanoia in Luke-Acts help to identify necessary elements of Luke’s concept of metanoia. The call for repentance that occurs particularly in John the Baptist’s proclamation and in the sermons in the book of Acts show how important metanoia is, but it remains unexplained, what metanoia is exactly and which behavior is expected. Therefore the paper considers texts such as Lk 7:36-50 (the pericope of Jesus’s annointment by a female sinner), Lk 15:11–32 (the parable of the “prodigal son”), Lk 18:9–14 (the prayer of a Pharisee and a toll collector in the temple), Lk 19:1–10 (the pericope of Zachaeus), and Lk 23:39–43 (the dialogue of Jesus and one of the crucified malefactors in the passion narrative) in order to identify regularly occurring elements in narrative representations of metanoia in Luke’s Gospel.

In a next section, these regularly occurring elements of “metanoia” are compared with individual penitential prayers from the Old Testament and the early Jewish tradition. The paper will analyze penitential prayers from the Old Testament and Early Jewish texts such as Ps 51 (Ps 50 LXX), the Prayer of Manasseh, and Joseph and Aseneth 12–13 in order to gain fresh insights concerning Luke’s concept of “metanoia”.

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