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Editor's Note This volume ofContagion is the first under its new editor. Thanks, however, to the excellent and timely workofour advisory boardandother referees, I can safely state that creditfor the merits and interests ofits contents are not entirely my own. Lasting creditfor the success ofthejournal remains with Professor Judith Arias ofthe Department ofForeign Languages at East Carolina University. Her unstinting resourcefulness and acumen brought the first three volumes into existence, and readers, contributors, and advisory board members remain in her debt. Some of the essays in this volume are drawn from the wealth of presentations offered at the 6th annual meeting of the Colloquium on Violence andReligion (COVaR) atStanford University in June 1996, whose topic was "Ethic Violence in International Perspective." Others were submitted by interestedscholarsfrom around the worldwhose work bears on René Girard's mimetic model of human behavior and cultural organization. Thejournal remains open to submissionsfrom authors in all academic disciplines andfields ofprofessional activity who recognize in the fact that human desire is mimetic—that it imitates other desires and frequently leads to conflict in rivalryfor mutually designated objects—a fruitful basisfor exploring human interaction. The titlepage ofthejournal bears a dedication to the memory ofRoel Kaptein, who was afounding member ofCOV&R and whose life richly exemplifiedits aspirations. Because he was aprodigious scholar, a tireless lecturer, a keen therapist, and a dynamicparticipant in conflict resolution, notably in Northern Ireland, Roel's work was a model in its own rightfor both the academic andpragmatic endeavors ofCOV&R members. As his book On the Way ofFreedom (Columba Press, 1993) eloquently testifies, he was a man ofunshakable religiousfaith and ofequallyfirm conviction about the explanatorypower ofthe mimetic hypothesis, its capacity to open new horizonsforfreedom in human relations. The clarity, simplicity, and inveterate good cheer thatRoel brought to every encounter, personal and professional, spread enduring rays of hope for genuine human understanding that thepages ofthisjournal can only wish to increase. The editors wish to express sincere thanks to the Mellon Humanities Fundofthe College ofArts andSciences ofLoyola University Chicagofor its continuedfinancial support for the journal and Loyola's Center for InstructionalDesignfor its generous assistance. Special thanks are due to Patricia Clemente, Administrative Secretary ofthe Department ofModern Vi Languages and Literatures at Loyola, whose formidable energy and multiple skills have shepherded every stage ofthejournal'sproduction. ...


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