Catholic Theological Society of America

Catholic Theological Society of America


Obituaries

Memorial Tribute
Dr. Bernard J. Cooke

died: May 31, 2013

Dr. Bernard J. Cooke is an internationally renowned theologian, author, and lecturer. He was born May 31, 1922 in Norway, Michigan, and passed away on his ninety-first birthday in 2013 at the Village at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He is survived by his wife Dr. Pauline Turner and daughter, Kelly Turner-Cooke, his brothers David Cooke (wife Leann) of Elk Grove, CA, Tom Cooke (wife Margaret) of Oakland, CA, as well as, many nieces and nephews.

Dr. Cooke published over twenty books and lectured in many countries, including Canada, France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Ireland, and East Africa. He recently taught grateful residents of the retirement center where he and his wife lived. Dr. Cooke's areas of professional specialization were sacramental theology (religious symbol and ritual), New Testament, religious psychology, and history of theological method.

Dr. Cooke published over twenty books and lectured in many countries, including Canada, France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Ireland, and East Africa. He recently taught grateful residents of the retirement center where he and his wife lived. Dr. Cooke's areas of professional specialization were sacramental theology (religious symbol and ritual), New Testament, religious psychology, and history of theological method.

Dr. Cooke received his A.B. and M. A. degrees from St. Louis University, an S.T.Lic. from St. Mary's College, Kansas, and an S.T.D. from the Institut catholique de Paris, as well as honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Detroit and Marquette University.

He was the Chairman and a Professor in the Department of Theology at Marquette University, where in 1963 he inaugurated the first PhD program in the nation to train Catholic laypeople for careers in theological scholarship and teaching. He went on to hold faculty positions at the University of Windsor and the University of Calgary in Canada, and in the U.S. at the College of the Holy Cross, where he retired as Loyola Professor of Theology in 1990. A tireless and inspiring teacher, Dr. Cooke also held visiting professorships at Santa Clara University, Loyola University in New Orleans, the University of the Incarnate Word, and the University of San Diego.

Dr. Cooke’s leadership in the American theological academy included his presidency of both the College Theology Society and the Catholic Theological Society of America, who also honored him with the John Courtney Murray Award “for distinguished achievement in theology.” In addition to honorary doctorates, other awards included a research fellowship at Yale Divinity School, from which he produced his landmark volume,Ministry to Word and Sacraments, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, from which followed another of his scholarly works, The Distancing of God. Others of his most widely read books include Christian Sacraments and Christian Personality, Sacraments and Sacramentality, God’s Beloved: Jesus’ Experience of the Transcendent, The Future of the Eucharist, and Power and the Spirit of God . The final words of his last book proclaim, “Let the risen Christ shine through you. For those so blessed, every breath is a sacrament.”

Dr. Cooke’s life will be celebrated in a Wake Service, Monday, June 10, 2013, 7 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Village at Incarnate Word, 4707 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209 (phone 210-829-7561). All are invited to share memories. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Jake Empereur, S.J., Tuesday, June 11, 10 a.m., Chapel of the Incarnate Word at the Motherhouse, 4503 Broadway. In lieu of flowers, people are invited to support the Bernard J. Cooke Memorial Fund, 150 Katherine Court, San Antonio, TX 78209.

 


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