Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness

Grant Wacker
Baylor University Press (Reissued)
Published Year: 
Book cover image of Augustus H. Strong

A new edition of a book by Grant Wacker, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Christian History at Duke Divinity School, about the late 19th century theologian and church leader Augustus H. Strong has been reissued by Baylor University Press.

The book, Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness, was first published in 1985 by Mercer University Press. The new edition, published in August 2018 by Baylor University Press, reveals why Strong remains relevant today.

Although a man of his time, Strong illustrates the perennial conflict created by competing interests of theology and history—a conflict that still challenges those who seek to be faithful to the obligations of both the church and academy.

At the end of the 19th century, Strong emerged as one of the most influential church leaders and theologians in America, but as Wacker shows though his research, also proved to be as tragic a figure as he was influential.

Strong was forced to choose between conceptual worlds that were equally incompatible and compelling to him. He wrestled with how the critical study of history, exemplified in the method commonly called “historicism” (or “historical consciousness”), can be reconciled with the many non-historical assumptions embedded in the claims of traditional Christianity.