Robert L Foster

Non-Tenure Track Faculty Research Excellence Awards 2023

Robert Foster

Robert L. Foster, senior lecturer in the Department of Religion, has received excellent reviews from major figures in his field for his innovative 2019 book, “We Have Heard, O LORD: An Introduction to the Theology of the Psalter,” published by Lexington/Rowman & Littlefield. It is one of only a few books in the last two centuries to explore various portraits of God within the 150 psalms of the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible. Analyzing the original Hebrew text, Foster focuses on different psalmists’ rhetorical strategies, offering close, linear (canonical) readings with ultimate attention devoted to the divine subject. He shows how psalmists portray God’s character and God’s actions to persuade their respective audiences, whether that audience is human (preaching) or divine (prayer). Reviewers have especially praised the book for its readable style and accessible format, allowing Foster to communicate his ideas to both academic and non-academic readers.