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Colloquium On Violence & Religion



COV&R-Bulletin No. 6 (March 1994)

A Note from the Executive Secretary

Thanks, first of all, to all those who presented papers and participated in other ways in the COV&R meeting held in conjunction with AAR/SBL in Washington, D.C. The discussions at the three sessions were among the best that we've had and the feeling of community was genuine. We had, moreover, the best attendance ever for an AAR/SBL meeting of COV&R, forty or more for the panel discussion of Curing Violence, eds. Thee Smith and Mark Wallace. We had our first reception in connection with one of these religion/biblical guild conventions, with a nice turn-out. There was also an important meeting of the Advisory Board. Our main action was to name the new periodical Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture. As previously announced, Judy Arias is the editor.

Secondly, I would like to reiterate an announcement I made at the Washington meeting: The Syracuse University Press will publish a book series entitled "Violence and the Sacred," of which I will be the editor. The series will feature studies applying and criticizing René Girard's mimetic theory of religion and culture. Other books will focus on methodological issues that are important for understanding desire, violence, and sacrifice. Anticipated subject areas include the Bible and biblical heritage, anthropological studies of violence and sacrifice, interdividual psychology, feminist criticism employing the mimetic theory, and literary studies of the premodern roots of modern and postmodern culture.

In the next several years I hope to hear from many of you about books for the series. By the way, I don't want this to be a series featuring doctoral dissertations, but by the same token I don't want to reject dissertations in principle. I know we have some good ones being produced.

Finally, a word of thanks to those taking the lead in planning and organizing our next two annual conferences: Raymund Schwager and Wolfgang Palaver for the Wiesbaden symposium this June and Andrew McKenna for the meeting at Loyola University of Chicago in 1995. With the Advisory Board, I would appreciate input on possible sites for the 1996 meeting. My own notion is that it would be good to return to the west coast of the U.S. in 1996 (Stanford? Other possibilities?), then come back to the east in 1997 (Syracuse? Other possibilities?), and hold the 1998 conference outside of North America once more. But such matters depend partly on receiving appropriate invitations (i.e., laden with promises of facilities and financial support) from individuals and their institutions.

James G. Williams