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3 Heart Transformation in the Prophets: Jeremiah and Ezekiel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers how the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel relate the competency of the moral agent to the transformation of the heart before investigating Second Temple interpretations of motif of heart-change with a view to opening up respective understandings of grace, transformation, and agency. Jeremiah also employs the metaphor of 'heart-change' to describe human transformation. It seems that as the fall of Jerusalem approaches and Jeremiah's calls to repentance go unheeded, the book's anthropological pessimism grows deeper and the question of Israel's moral competence becomes clearer. In Jeremiah's vision, human agency is found on a divine agency that continues to work in the human agent. Along with evidencing a more dire pessimism about human competence, both prophets insinuate that God's saving agency perpetually works in the newly created moral agent. In both texts, God's gifts of a new self and divine Spirit are intended to bring about obedience.

Keywords: divine Spirit; heart transformation; human agent; human transformation; prophet Ezekiel; prophet Jeremiah



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