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Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

The Heart Is a Little to the Left

Essays on Public Morality

William Sloane Coffin offers here a powerful antidote to the politics of the religious right with a clarion call to passive intellectuals and dispirited liberals to reenter the fray with an unabashedly Christian view of social justice. Refusing to cede the battlefield of morality to conservatives, he argues that “compassion demands confrontation,” as he considers such topics as homophobia, diversity, nuclear weapons, and civil discourse. Coffin became famous while chaplain at Yale in the 1960s for his active opposition to the Vietnam War. Jailed as a civil rights “Freedom Rider,” indicted by the government in the Benjamin Spock conspiracy trial, he attained popular immortality as Reverend Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip. The seven pieces collected here are peppered with memorable aphorisms and pithy, political one-liners meant to turn bitterness to anger and anger to action.

96 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Philosophy: Ethics

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Table of Contents

Preface • The Spiritual and the Secular: Can They Meet? • The Politics of Compassion • Homophobia: The Last “Respectable” Prejudice • The Authority of the Bible • The Dangers of Self-Righteousness • The Warhorse • Civility, Democracy, and Multiculturalism

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