In Memoriam: William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
“The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.” – William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., a magnet for controversy, the media, and followers, and the premier voice of northern religious liberalism for more than a quarter-century, died yesterday at his home in Vermont. He was 81.
From his pulpits at Yale University and, later, New York City’s Riverside Church, Coffin focused national attention on civil rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement, disarmament, and gay rights. A worthy heir to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coffin gained notoriety as a leader of a dangerous civil rights Freedom Ride in 1961, as a defendant in the “Boston Five” trial of draft resisters in 1969, and as the preeminent voice of liberal religious dissent into the 1980s.
William Sloane Coffin, Jr.: A Holy Impatience tells the remarkable story of the life of this controversial and admirable man. Based on unparalleled access to family papers and candid interviews with Dr. Coffin and those closest to him, the revealing biography gives “a brilliantly insightful, richly detailed portrait of one of America’s larger-than-life heroes” (Barbara Ehrenreich), making the book “a worthy and moving introduction to his grand transcendent spirit” (Arthur Miller).
Read the New York Times’ obituary of Dr. Coffin.