Henry Sloane Coffin


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Born on 5 January 1877 in New York City, Henry Sloane Coffin came to appreciate “order” through his father Edmund, an attorney, and his mother Euphemia, a devout Presbyterian. Coffin once said, “God is to me that creative force, behind and in the universe, who manifests Himself as energy, as life, as order, as beauty, as thought, as conscience, as love.” Coffin's parents provided Henry with the best education, including the Cutler School for Boys in New York City; Yale University (BA 1897), where he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Skull and Bones; New College of the University of Edinburgh (1897–9); and the University of Marburg in Germany (1899), where he was taught the higher criticism approach to biblical studies. Returning to the United States, Coffin sensed God, the “creative force,” calling him into ministry and entered Union Theological Seminary where he received his BD in 1900.


From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.