A New Call and a New Book for Victor Austin '85

victor-austin382-150x150The Rev. Canon Dr. Victor Lee Austin, Class of 1985, is now the Theologian-in-Residence of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. His background is in both the parish ministry and the academic world as a former parish rector and university professor. As a priest in the Diocese of New York, Austin served as Theologian-in-Residence at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City since 2005. Prior to that, from 1989 to 2003, he was Rector of the Church of the Resurrection, Hopewell Junction, NewYork; and before that, he was Curate of Zion Church in Wappinger Falls.

In addition to graduating from The General theological Seminary, Austin is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and he earned his Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham University in 2002. In the academic world, Austin was Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Theology at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania. He has also taught on the adjunct faculty of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York; Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, New York; and Fordham University, as well as at General Seminary.

His theological interests are wide-ranging, but his particular focus is in Christian Ethics. His book, Up with Authority: Why We Need Authority to Flourish as Human Beings, was published by T&T Clark in 2010, and was short-listed for the 2013 Michael Ramsey prize. He also wrote Christian Ethics: A Guide for the Perplexed, also published by T&T Clark (2013).

austin_losingsusanBut his most recent writing is at the intersection of theology and everyday life. His memoir, Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest's Wife, and the God Who Gives and Takes Away (Brazos Press, 2016), has received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. It tells of his 34-year marriage to Susan, who had brain cancer in the midst of their marriage that was successfully treated, but who then suffered mental decline for almost twenty years. Less dramatic, but also exploring the intersections of theology and life as we live it, are two books of short meditations: Priest in New York: Church, Street, and Theology, published by Saint Thomas Church in 2010, and A Priest's Journal, published by Church Publishing (2001).