David Perrin‘s paper was presented at the University of Notre Dame during its annual conference “Romero Days” (March 24-28, 2017). The annual conference brings together scholars from around the world who do research directly on Romero or are connected to some aspect of his life journey. Here is the paper’s abstract:
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917-1980), a Salvadoran bishop, lived during a time of great political and civil turbulence. The local Roman Catholic Church, regrettably, did little to quell the suffering of its people. Romero, in the earliest part of his episcopacy and similar to the bishops around him, fell into this space of complacency. Quite remarkably all of this was to change for Romero in a radical way with the turn of events in 1977. At this time Romero changed from an introverted conservative to an outspoken champion of his people. This conference is a theological analysis, one of many possible others, of how such a change, such a conversion, can be framed within the tradition of Christian spirituality: in the clash of transcendence and history, that is, an understanding that God meets God’s people in the events of their lives – even tragic ones as is witnessed in the people of El Salvador – is conversion wrought. What is special about Romero’s conversion in the clash of transcendence and history is the similarity of it with the lives of those whom the Church has come to know as “mystics.” Romero, in the end, gave his all to become the very Face of God, for his own people but as importantly for those of Latin America and now for the whole world. The sign and spirituality of a mystic, martyr and saint indeed.
SSCS members can obtain a copy of the paper by contacting David by e-mail.