To represent the Violence of Love on our Plough Quarterly cover, we chose a detail from an Agnus Dei by the Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán, depicting the sacrificial Lamb of God as referenced in John 1:29. Zurbarán painted six versions of this image during his lifetime; this version, widely considered his finest, was made between 1635 and 1640, in Seville.


We have never preached violence,
except the violence of love,
which left Christ nailed to a cross,
the violence that we must each do to ourselves
to overcome our selfishness
and such cruel inequalities among us.

The violence we preach
is not the violence of the sword,
the violence of hatred.
It is the violence of love, of brotherhood,
the violence that wills to beat weapons
into sickles for work.

Oscar Romero, November 27, 1977


Francisco de Zurbarán, Agnus Dei, 1635–1640