Truth, Trust, and Power

Jesus RadA CALL FOR CONTENT from our co-conspirators at Jesus Radicals for their third issue of Rock! Paper! Scissors!

Tools for anarchist + Christian thought

Issue 3: Truth, Trust, and Power

Guest Editor: Ted Lewis

In the field of restorative justice, which seeks to address and repair harm in relationships, two elements have been central to people’s experience: truth-telling and trust-building. In this way, truth and trust (which share word origins in a number of languages) work together to bring about healing and restoration between people and even communities. In this third issue of Rock! Paper! Scissors! Tools for anarchist + Christian thought, we seek to wrestle with the tensions of speaking truth and building trust in the midst of power-imbalances in relationships and in movements for justice.

At a time in history, both nationally and globally, it seems like we see more and more instances in which the telling of truth creates angst and division. Even within progressive circles, it is not uncommon for people to experience moments of deep discomfort as marginalized or oppressed people give voice to their experiences of harm and violation. Meanwhile, movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo have arisen from the general crisis of the disregard of the dignity and trustworthiness of certain groups of people in our society.

What are the possibilities for building trust when the pain and oppression of these groups has been dismissed and discredited? When is truth-telling imperative, whether or not the offending person or group has committed themselves to trust-building? How do we take into account the power imbalances that exist even between groups that are committed to a restorative process? What kind of spiritual practices are needed to engage in the transformative work of trust-building and truth-telling?

Jesus Radicals wants to share your stories of resistance, love, and transformation. Between now and January 4, 2019, we are seeking pitches for articles, poems, photography, prose, and other media on this theme of Truth, Trust, and Power as it specifically relates to the kinds of robust relationship-building practices we need in polarized times. We want to explore the intersections between truth, trust, and power in settings of dialogue, reconciliation, and movement-building.

The following questions may serve as guides for the content of articles that will be included in this issue:

● What is the relationship between telling truth and building trust?

● How do we build spaces of trust, especially when power isn’t equal?

● What kinds of processes are needed for truth to be told?

● How do biblical narratives illuminate themes of truth and trust?

● How did Jesus embody truth-telling in his relationships with the powerless and powerful?

● Do the same dynamics apply at both micro and macro levels (i.e. interpersonal and political)?

● How does historical harm/ongoing oppression and trauma effect these issues?

● How does our political climate of truth-decay affect genuine truth-telling?

● In dialogue settings, what allows trust to build between people?

● What happens when versions or narratives of truth clash with each other?

● How can the wisdom of restorative justice aid in building trust and speaking the truth?

● How can restorative justice processes be limiting?

● What spiritual and theological commitments compel us toward building trust and speaking truth?

● In what ways has imperial Christianity obscured the connection between truth and trust?

Submission guidelines: Word length is flexible, but brevity is prized. Maximum length is approximately 2,000 words. Conversational or academic writing styles are both acceptable, but keep in mind a popular audience. We seek intersectional, liberative, and self-reflective pieces. Please fact-check and proofread your work. Writers retain full copyright control of their work. Pitches are requested no later than January 4, 2019. Content is due by February 1, 2019 to submissions [dot] jesusradicals [at] gmail [dot] com. Visit our website for more information and to view previous issues.

Content Ideas: While the field of restorative justice is certainly central to the theme of this issue, articles and creative submissions are welcome to engage other fields and practices which still fall within the wider circumference of peacemaking, conflict resolution, power analysis, and political discourse. Again, the focus can be on interpersonal interactions, community-level challenges, or national / international divisions. Every article, however, will explore the interplay between truth, trust and power.

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