Grant A. Wacker

Grant A. Wacker

Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished 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

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

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

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

Blumhofer, E. L., et al. Pentecostal currents in American Protestantism. Univ of Illinois Pr, 1999.

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, edited by D. Junker and P. A. Goff, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Wacker, G., et al. “Preface: George M. Marsden: Scholar, Christian, Friend.” American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History, edited by K. W. Peterson et al., Notre Dame University Press, 2014.

Wacker, G. “Early Pentecostals and the study of popular religious movements in modern America.” Work of the Spirit, William B Eerdmans, 2006, pp. 126–46.

Wacker, G. “Living with signs and wonders: parents and children in early Pentecostal culture.” Signs, Wonders, Miracles, Boydell Pr, 2005, pp. 423–42.

Wacker, G., et al. “John Alexander Dowie: Harbinger of Pentecostal Power.” Portraits of a Generation: Early Pentecostal Leaders in America, edited by J. R. Goff Jr. and G. Wacker, University of Arkansas Press, 2002, pp. 3–20.

Wacker, G. “Present Tenses of the Everlasting Life: Pentecostal Visions of the Future.” Visions of the Future in Germany and America, edited by N. Finzsch and H. Wellenreuther, Berg, 2001, pp. 69–88.

Wacker, G. “Understanding the past, using the past : reflections on two approaches to history.Religious Advocacy and American History, Eerdmans, 1997, pp. 159–78.

Wacker, G. “Searching for Eden with a satellite dish : primitivism, pragmatism, and the Pentecostal character.Primitive Church in the Modern World, Univ of Illinois Pr, 1995, pp. 139–66.

Wacker, G. “Uneasy in Zion : evangelicals in postmodern society.Reckoning with the Past, Baker Bk House, 1995, pp. 376–93.

Wacker, G. “Second thoughts on the Great Commission : liberal Protestants and foreign missions, 1890-1940.Earthen Vessels, Eerdmans, 1990, pp. 281–300.


Wacker, G. “Another tool in the toolbox: uses (and misuses) of belief-inflected history.” Fides Et Historia, vol. 44, no. 1, Dec. 2012, pp. 69–75.

Wacker, G. “Billy Graham's America.” Church History, vol. 78, no. 3, Sept. 2009, pp. 489–511.

Wacker, Grant. “Pearl S. Buck and the Waning of the Missionary Impulse.” Church History, vol. 72, no. 4, Cambridge University Press (CUP), Dec. 2003, pp. 852–74. Crossref, doi:10.1017/s0009640700097407. Full Text

Wacker, Grant. “Early Pentecostals and the Almost Chosen People.” Pneuma, vol. 19, no. 1, Brill, 1997, pp. 141–66. Crossref, doi:10.1163/157007497x00109. Full Text

Wacker, G. “Travail of a Broken Family : Evangelical Responses to Pentecostalism in America, 1906-1916.Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 47, no. 3, July 1996, pp. 505–28.

Wacker, G. “A Tar Heel perspective on The third disestablishment.Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 30, no. 4, Dec. 1991, pp. 519–25.

Wacker, Grant. “Are the Golden Oldies Still Worth Playing? Reflections on History Writing among Early Pentecostals.” Pneuma, vol. 8, no. 1, Brill, 1986, pp. 81–100. Crossref, doi:10.1163/157007486x00138. Full Text

Wacker, G. “Marching to Zion : religion in a modern utopian community.Church History, vol. 54, no. 4, Dec. 1985, pp. 496–511.

Wacker, G. “Taking Another Look at the Vision of The Disinherited.” Pneuma: Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, vol. 4, 1982, pp. 53–62.

Wacker, G. What Are the Main Branches or Denominations in Christianity? Edited by D. Bruce, TM Publishers, 2000.

Wacker, G. Strong, Augustus H. Edited by J. Garraty, vol. 21, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 36–37.