Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Committee Member

Dr. Rachel Moore

Committee Member

Dr. Rod Andrew

Committee Member

Dr. Vernon Burton

Abstract

While the slain El Salvadorian archbishop, Oscar Romero, was not necessarily a liberation theologian, he embodied the teachings of liberation theology seen in the work of the Conference of Latin American Bishops and the writings of Gustavo Gutiérrez while also moderating some of the more radical interpretations of the theology. Despite the strong opposition to liberation theology from the Vatican and conservative church officials, Romero's life and legacy has helped keep the core ideas of the theology alive by serving as an example of a more peaceful version of liberationist thought. Because of his 'martyrdom' and his subsequent iconic status throughout Latin America, the church could not simply dismiss his ideas. Though liberation theology seemed to wane in the years following the Cold War, Romero's legacy helped preserve its core ideas which in some aspects have seen a resurgence under the papacy of Pope Francis.

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