As the war in Ukraine enters its third year and images of bombed out starving Palestinians fill our tv screens, I am reminded of a recent online philosophy class (U3A) where three Quakers among others, discussed a segment of Plato’s Republic entitled The City of Pigs. Beginning with the concepts of justice and injustice, Socrates debates the evolution of the state from meeting basic human needs – food, shelter, clothing – to a greed-driven society that inevitably leads to war.

Before we lament the lack of progress towards global peace over two millennia, let us remember the thousands throughout the world working for peaceful resolutions to current conflicts and all those that live by answering the question, What does love require of you? 

In this edition of the Australian Friend, we offer articles that consider these matters such as: A listening pilgrimage across these lands now called Australia by Lisa Wriley, a companion piece Where spirituality and justice meet by First Nations author Brooke Prentis, A letter to Quakers (about Palestine) by Aletia Dundas and Reg Naulty’s book review of The Palestine Laboratory.

Other articles, among them David Johnson’s For it is the light and The sense of presence by Noel Staples, afford beacons of hope for a spirit-led future.

I conclude with an extract from my poem Hope Rekindled written following Meeting for Worship in July 2000.

As I dwell on youthful naivete
And enduring evils thirty years on
Ministry enters the silence
She speaks of poverty war violence
The endless evidence of six o’clock news
The need for action
The need to know the right time for action
The need to pass on the faith the hope the love

I rejoice in the power of worship
Give thanks for the love in this room
For wisdom imparted
Knowledge gained
Hope rekindled



Sue Parritt
The Australian Friend committee


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