History, Theology and Truth: Reflections by Jon Meacham

Apr 15, 2020

From acclaimed historian Jon Meacham’s “Hope of Glory”:

‘History is what happened in time and space. Theology can be understood as what people think history means in relation to a presumed order beyond time and space. History is horizontal, theology vertical, and their intersection is a motive force behind our religious, national and personal imaginations. The stories we tell ourselves about who we are, what we love, and how we live are furnished and fixed by the factual and the fabled. History and theology are inextricably bound up with each other, and together, I submit, they create truth. Fact is what we can discern; truth is the larger significance of what we extrapolate from those facts.”

For reflection in solitude or in the company of others: How does Meacham’s analysis accord with your own understanding of the relationship between history and truth? As you hear, tell, and pray the scriptural stories of Jesus’ risen life this Easter season, how does Meacham’s enrich and enliven your experience?