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  • Editorial – A Word of Thanks
  • David B. Couturier, OFM. Cap.

When Prof. Jean-François Godet-Calogeras took the helm of Franciscan Studies as General Editor eighteen years ago, he brought together a new team of editors and worked out the goals they would try to meet as they ushered in a new era in this prestigious journal's history. In their first issue, they wrote the following:

In the past, Franciscan Studies has served a specific platform of scholars interested in the history and development of the order in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, with special attention to matters pertaining to Franciscan scholastic thought and spirituality. While this rich tradition will always stay with us, it appears that the moment is ripe to enhance the impact of Franciscan Studies on other aspects of Franciscan scholarship and on the wider fields of medieval ecclesiastical, cultural and intellectual history. Ideally speaking, we would like Franciscan Studies to become a thermometer for signaling interesting new trends, to such an extent that scholars from very different backgrounds will come to regard Franciscan Studies as an important instrument to keep abreast of new developments.1

Thus began the prodigious expansion of Franciscan Studies at the beginning of the new century. For the past two decades our dear colleague and friend Jean-François has not only met these lofty goals, he has exceeded them. He has done so with a superb combination of editorial acuity, diplomacy and sensitivity to our distinguished authors and audiences around the world.

The fact is that Jean-François knew how to read the signs of the times. With his distinctive Franciscan tenderness, he calmed the "prophets of gloom" who forecasted demise when he "opened the windows" and let in the fresh breezes of thought and insight from other generations, styles, and cultural forms of the Franciscan intellectual tradition. The skeptics are silent now, for the quality and range of the articles he has supervised over these years remain a testament to his prophetic insight that it was time for a major change of emphasis. [End Page 5]

Furthermore, as General Editor he encouraged the voices of new and emerging scholars to be heard, especially those of under-represented women and minorities. The roster of today's authors testifies that the Franciscan intellectual tradition is safely, securely and wonderfully in the hands of a new generation of lay scholars. Jean-François has been a proud advocate for that transition. We thank him for steering in that direction.

For all of this, it is our good fortune to thank Prof. Jean-François Godet-Calogeras for his many years of service as the General Editor of this academic journal. To Jean-François, on behalf of all the authors you have encouraged, all the editors you have guided, all the scholars and students you have taught, and all the directors and staff with whom you have worked over these many years, I offer you our gratitude, love and best wishes as you enter this next phase of your life. Thank you for your kindness, expertise and generosity. You have blessed us and we are grateful. [End Page 6]

David B. Couturier, OFM. Cap.
General Editor, Franciscan Studies


1. The Editors, Franciscan Studies 62 (2004), 1.