To repent means to resist the seductiveness of the sinful values and practices and to let the new order of God’s reign be established in one’s heart. For a victim to repent means not to allow the oppressors to determine the terms under which social conflict is carried out, the values around which the conflict is raging, and the means by which it is fought. Repentance thus empowers victims and disempowers the oppressors. It “humanizes” the victims precisely by protecting them from either mimicking or dehumanizing the oppressors. Far from being a sign of acquiescence to the dominant order, repentance creates a haven of God’s new world in the midst of the old and so makes the transformation of the old possible.
Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, 116