Grant A. Wacker

Grant A. Wacker

Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of the Divinity School

External address: 
407 Chapel Drive, 303 Gray Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90967, Durham, NC 27708-0967
(919) 660-3462


Grant Wacker, a well-known expert in American religion, joined the Divinity School faculty after teaching in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1977–1992.

Professor Wacker is the co-editor or author of seven books, including Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture. He recently authored, with Randall Balmer and Jon Butler, a survey textbook of American religious history from Oxford University Press, called Religion in American Life: A Short History. He is working on a book, under contract with Harvard University Press, to be called Billy Graham and the Shaping of Modern America.

Professor Wacker, who is the immediate-past president of the American Society of Church History, has served as a senior editor of the quarterly journal, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. He is a lay member of Orange United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill.

Education & Training

Bays, DH, and Wacker, G. The foreign missionary enterprise at home: explorations in North American cultural history. Tuscaloosa; London: Univ of Alabama Pr, 2003.

Wacker, G. Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Goff, JR, and Wacker, G. Portraits of a generation: early Pentecostal leaders. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002.

Wacker, G. Religion in nineteenth-century America. New York: Oxford Univ Pr, 2000.

Blumhofer, EL, Spittler, RP, and Wacker, G. Pentecostal currents in American Protestantism. Urbana: Univ of Illinois Pr, 1999.

Wacker, G. Augustus H Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness. Macon, Ga: Mercer Univ Pr, 1985.

Wacker, G. "Billy Graham, Christian Manliness, and the Marketing of the Evangelical Subculture." Religion and the Marketplace in the United States: New Perspectives and New Findings. Ed. D Junker and PA Goff. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Wacker, G, Hatch, N, Noll, M, and Stout, H. "Preface: George M. Marsden: Scholar, Christian, Friend." American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History. Ed. KW Peterson, TS Kidd, and D Dochuk. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2014.

Wacker, G. "Early Pentecostals and the study of popular religious movements in modern America." Work of the Spirit. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans, 2006. 126-146.

Wacker, G. "Living with signs and wonders: parents and children in early Pentecostal culture." Signs, wonders, miracles. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Pr, 2005. 423-442.

Wacker, G, Armstrong, CR, and Blossom, JSF. "John Alexander Dowie: Harbinger of Pentecostal Power." Portraits of a Generation: Early Pentecostal Leaders in America. Ed. JR Goff Jr. and G Wacker. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002. 3-20.

Wacker, G. "Present Tenses of the Everlasting Life: Pentecostal Visions of the Future." Visions of the Future in Germany and America. Ed. N Finzsch and H Wellenreuther. Oxford: Berg, 2001. 69-88.

Wacker, G. "Understanding the past, using the past : reflections on two approaches to history." Religious advocacy and American history. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. 159-178.

Wacker, G. "Searching for Eden with a satellite dish : primitivism, pragmatism, and the Pentecostal character." Primitive church in the modern world. Urbana: Univ of Illinois Pr, 1995. 139-166.

Wacker, G. "Uneasy in Zion : evangelicals in postmodern society." Reckoning with the past. Grand Rapids: Baker Bk House, 1995. 376-393.

Wacker, G. "Second thoughts on the Great Commission : liberal Protestants and foreign missions, 1890-1940." Earthen vessels. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990. 281-300.


Wacker, G. "Another tool in the toolbox: uses (and misuses) of belief-inflected history." Fides et historia 44.1 (December 1, 2012): 69-75.

Wacker, G. "Billy Graham's America." Church History 78.3 (September 1, 2009): 489-511.

Wacker, G. "Pearl S. Buck and the Waning of the Missionary Impulse." Church History 72.04 (December 2003): 852-852. Full Text

Wacker, G. "Early Pentecostals and the Almost Chosen People." Pneuma 19.1 (1997): 141-141. Full Text

Wacker, G. "Travail of a Broken Family : Evangelical Responses to Pentecostalism in America, 1906-1916." Journal of Ecclesiastical History 47.3 (July 1, 1996): 505-528.

Wacker, G. "A Tar Heel perspective on The third disestablishment." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30.4 (December 1, 1991): 519-525.

Wacker, G. "Marching to Zion : religion in a modern utopian community." Church History 54.4 (December 1, 1985): 496-511.

Wacker, G. "Taking Another Look at the Vision of The Disinherited." Pneuma: Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 4 (1982): 53-62.

Wacker, G. "Strong, Augustus H." Ed. J Garraty. 21 (1999): 36-37.