Kieryn Wurts

Project title: Repent! or “Re-turn”: the theology, philosophy, and politics of repentance (Healing)

2022: M.A. Interreligious Studies/ Philosophy of Religions, University of Bonn, Germany

2015: B.A. Religious Studies, International Studies, Leadership Studies, University of Denver, US

Repentance, a concept with rich theological provenance, is most oftenassociated with the soteriology and ethical teachings of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Recourse to the (quite thorny) theological discourses on repentance stands to serve as a significant theoretical resource for contemporary ethics and political philosophy. While contemporary normative ethics has ample resources for determining right action, it remains curiously underdeveloped when it comes to addressing ethical breakdown or moral failures, particularly when these are large-scale or collective in nature. This doctoral dissertation will take both the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann and the 1996 South African Truth and Reconciliation Process as two examples of 20th century projects in which repentance was of central concern at the political and societal level. These two case studies will anchor an interdisciplinary inquiry into the parameters and stakes of repentance on theological, philosophical and political registers.