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William Sloane Coffin Jr.A Holy Impatience$
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Warren Goldstein

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102215

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102215.001.0001

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Preaching the Word: Coffin in Demand

Preaching the Word: Coffin in Demand

(p.129) Seven Preaching the Word: Coffin in Demand
William Sloane Coffin Jr.

Warren Goldstein

Yale University Press

This chapter illustrates how William Sloane Coffin, Jr. became an important new figure on the educational and religious scenes of the early 1960s; he appeared to be everywhere. Life magazine designated him one of the “Red Hot Hundred” in a special issue in 1962 devoted to “The Take-Over Generation.” From television appearances and radio programs, from prep school lecterns and college pulpits, from national magazines, local newsletters, and newspaper headlines, Coffin preached a witty, quotable, provocative, prophetic Christianity. His photogenic and, more importantly, telegenic good looks—his handsome, square-jawed face, horn-rimmed glasses, slightly receding hairline, and athletic build—were about to become fixtures in American media for the rest of the decade. With a knack for stirring up controversy, Coffin created news. By 1963, he had become nothing less than a phenomenon.

Keywords:   religious scenes, Red Hot Hundred, The Take-Over Generation, prophetic Christianity, American media, controversy

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