Truth, Listening, Caring


Summer 2011 No 28 – 01/07/2011


Author: Anne Hosking

Document Code: ISSN 1368-9614

Description: For over 2000 years what constitutes ‘truth’ has been a contested matter; Pontius Pilate, when Governor of Roman Palestine, is famously purported to have said ‘what is truth?’ when Jesus was brought before him. Today truth or Truth as an ideal remains an important part of Quaker testimony and witness. We are said as a religious community to be ‘Friends of the Truth’; but what does this mean, particularly as we live in an era when meaning is slippery and words can be provisional and partial?

Anne Hosking’s work on truth as part of her Eva Koch scholarship points us in some useful directions for consideration. Truth may be a re-membering, a putting back together of our own self. It may be listening to and witnessing a story that needs telling even if we might only partially hear or understand. It may be an ongoing active process that integrates new occurrences and interpretations. ‘Truthing’ as Anne describes it requires something more than the traditional definition where we are exhorted to tell the whole truth and nothing but. It asks of us nothing less than that our whole being is engaged with and alive to possibility within and beyond ourselves.

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