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A Few Thoughts on Truth

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Some observations about religious Truth, truth and truths at the fourth annual conference on seminary education at the Holy Spirit Retreat Center:

On the Catholic tradition of supernatural truths often described as divine mysteries:

“I’ve become humbled over the years to realize how little of truth I know. One thing I find helpful is not to say what mystery is but to protect it.”

--Patrick Mitchell, St. John’s Seminary

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On grasping Truth and developing priorities among truth commitments:

“One, Truth is larger than any one group’s understanding, and two, some commitments are more binding than others. You can’t possibly be orthodox on every point of your faith.”

--David Scholer, Fuller Theological Seminary

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On finding truth in the Bible:

“The Decalogue (Ten Commandments) doesn’t address me [as a woman]--I’m part of the livestock. I have to look at where the Decalogue points. . . . It’s not that Scripture is inerrant but is inexhaustible.”

--Rachel Adler, Hebrew Union College.

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On embracing various religious identities simultaneously:

“Some people, particularly educated people, see no reason today to choose one or another religion. For example, I know a graduate student who was born and raised Catholic, attends a Unitarian Church, practices yoga daily and observes the change of seasons in Wicca [neo-pagan] fashion.”

--Donald Miller, USC School of Religion

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On Truth (God) as the seeker:

“I have to say that God is Truth and addresses us. That we have a truth or the truth is less important than [that] it has sought us.”

--Paul Ford, St. John’s Seminary

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On truth’s importance to Jewish converts in contrast to Judaism’s emphasis on righteous acts:

“Converts typically emphasize beliefs more than practice, which may in part be driving the [new] interest in spirituality in Judaism.”

--Rabbi Susan Laemmle, USC

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