The English word “truth” comes from a Germanic root that also gives rise to our word “troth,” as in the ancient vow “I pledge thee my troth.” With this word one person enters a covenant with another, a pledge to engage in a mutually accountable and transforming relationship, a relationship forged of trust and faith in the face of unknowable risks.

Truth is not merely information. It is more intimate and deep than repeating phrases together and saying something is either “true” or “false.” “Troth” — which is the root for our word “betrothed” —calls us into something more than mere fact or commitments based on mutual tolerance. This is a profound mutual accountability that transforms all members of the relationship into a newly forged intimacy of trust and faith.

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