(WILSON, N.C.) Rodney A. Werline, associate professor and the Marie and Leman Barnhill Endowed Chair of Religious Studies at Barton College, is one of three editors of a newly released volume of essays titled, “Seeking the Favor of God, Volume 2: The Development of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism” (Society of Biblical Literature, publisher).
The essays developed out of sessions dedicated to the academic study of penitential prayers (prayers that confess sins and ask for forgiveness) in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Early Judaism at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature from 2003–2005. The first volume of collected essays appeared in 2006. This second volume of essays, like the first, contains the work of scholars from around the world.
Werline contributed two essays to the volume: “Prayer, Politics and Social Vision in Daniel 9” and “Reflections on Penitential Prayer: Definition and Form.” In the second essay, Werline revisits his often-cited definition of penitential prayer and reconsiders its limitations and possibilities. The other editors of the two volumes are Mark J. Boda (lead editor of the volumes, Professor at McMaster University, Canada) and Daniel K. Falk (associate professor at the University of Oregon). The third volume in the series, which will contain an essay by Werline on penitential prayer in early Christianity, is scheduled for release next year.
Reflecting upon the production of the book, Werline said, “It was a wonderful honor to work with a group of first-rate Jewish and Christian scholars from around the world.” “Their efforts and abilities make this an important volume that not only assesses current work on penitential prayer, but also pushes the field in new directions. Several of the essays produced by scholars in this group will be viewed as those that began to change the field of prayer studies in general. It is always thrilling to work with such a talented group.”
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