United Methodist bishops are honoring and remembering the legacy of the Rev. Dr. James Cone. Dr. Cone, who passed away April 28, was most recently the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary
In a letter to Union Theological Seminary President Serene Jones, the Council of Bishops
of The United Methodist Church thanked the Rev. Dr. Cone for his work that introduced an integrated theological perspective born in the crucible of struggle and oppression within the United States of America and read the gospel as a mandate to understand Christ as liberator.
“There are those who enter a field of study and contribute to it, enhance what has already been offered, or expand a particular aspect of the work. And, then there are those who enter a discipline and thoroughly forge an entirely new pedagogical stream. That is the gift and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Cone,” said the letter signed by Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops.
“Through that integration, the Rev. Dr. Cone introduced us to Black Theology, a theology that continues to provide new lenses to the mission and ministry of the church by re-examining our understanding of Christology and biblical interpretation that challenges white privilege.”
The bishops offered condolences from the entire United Methodist Church to the Cone family, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and to his colleagues and staff at Union Theological Seminary. “We offer our prayers of comfort and we trust that Jesus is welcoming the Rev. Dr. Cone with open arms and telling him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”