Date of Award
Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion
Miguel De La Torre
Religious history, Catholic history, El Salvador, Los Angeles
This project considers the cognitive dissonance experienced by Salvadoran Catholics as civil war violence and their Catholic faith came face-to-face with Romero’s path towards canonization gathered momentum. Through binational, ethnographic observation and interviews, I gathered diverse and sometimes contradictory perspectives of local Salvadorans, transnational pilgrims at the celebration of Romero’s beatification, and Salvadoran Catholics in Los Angeles. I center the beatification event rather than the canonization mass at the Vatican two years later, in 2018, because my primary concern is the meaning Romero holds for Salvadoran’s themselves, including those living in the United States. Through the beatification and canonization, the Catholic Church sanctioned Romero’s role as a martyr. Today, many Salvadorans continue to perceive Romero as a revolutionary figure who struggled to bring about socio-economic justice. While controversial at times, Romero’s impression on El Salvador’s history continues to play a role in the religious lives of Salvadoran Catholics. This project examines and contrasts the sanitized narrative of Romero with the unresolved legacies of violence that continue to plague Salvadorans. Romero’s canonization cannot, in the final analysis, resolve or reconcile the ongoing legacies of violence and trauma that were the primary context of Romero’s own life and brief episcopacy.
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Kristian A. Diaz
Received from ProQuest
Diaz, Kristian A., "Transnational Religious Pluralism and Identity Formation: Oscar Romero and Salvadoran Diaspora After the Civil War" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2110.