Foster, Richard J(ames) 1942-
FOSTER, Richard J(ames) 1942-
PERSONAL: Born May 3, 1942, in Albuquerque, NM; son of Lee Sherman and Marie (Temperance) Foster; married Alice Carolynn Kerr (a speech therapist), March 18, 1967; children: Joel Timothy, Nathan Lee. Education: George Fox College, B.A., 1964; Fuller Theological Seminary, D.Th.P., 1970. Politics: Democrat.
ADDRESSES: Office—Renovare, 8 Inverness Dr. E, Suite 102, Englewood, CA 80112-5624. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Alamitos Friends Church, Garden Grove, CA, minister of youth, 1962-67; ordained clergyman of Society of Friends (Quakers), 1967; Family Counseling and Research Center, Garden Grove, counselor, 1967-68; Arcadia Friends Church, Arcadia, CA, associate pastor, 1968-70; Woodlake Avenue Friends Church, Canoga Park, CA, pastor, 1970-74; Newberg Friends Church, Newberg, OR, pastor, 1974-79; Friends University, Wichita, KS, professor of theology and writer-in-residence, beginning 1979; Renovare, Englewood, CA, founder and director. George Fox College, adjunct professor, 1974-79. Public lecturer. Member of publications board of California Yearly Meeting of Friends.
AWARDS, HONORS: Writer of the Year designation, Warner Pacific College, 1978, for Celebration of Discipline; Christy Award, Gold Medallion Award, and Logos Bookstores Religious Book Award for Inspirational Book, all 1982, all for Freedom of Simplicity; named Most Significant Author of the Year, Logos Bookstores, 1982; honorary doctor of letters, George Fox College, 1987.
Quaker Concern in Race Relations: Then and Now, Martin Keller Associates, 1970.
(Contributor) John L. Bond, editor, Friends Search for Wholeness, Friends United Press (Richmond, IN), 1978.
Freedom of Simplicity, Harper (San Francisco, CA), 1981.
Study Guide for Celebration of Discipline, Harper (San Francisco, CA), 1983.
Meditative Prayer (booklet), Inter-Varsity Press (Downer's Grove, IL), 1983.
Money, Sex, and Power: The Challenge of the Disciplined Life (with study guide), Harper (San Francisco, CA), 1985, published as The Challenge of the Disciplined Life: Christian Reflections on Money, Sex, and Power, 1989.
(With Kathryn A. Yanni) Celebrating the Disciplines: A Journal Workbook to Accompany "Celebration of Discipline," HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1992.
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, HarperSan-Francisco (San Francisco, CA), 1992.
(Editor, with James Bryan Smith) Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1993.
Coming Home: A Prayer Journal, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1994.
Prayers from the Heart, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1994.
Seeking the Kingdom: Devotions for the Daily Journey of Faith, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1995.
(With Janet Lindeblad Janzen) Songs for Renewal: A Devotional Guide to the Riches of Our Best-Loved Songs and Hymns, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1995.
(With Jana Rea) A Spiritual Formation Journal: A Renovare Resource for Spiritual Renewal, Harper-SanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1998.
(Editor, with Emilie Griffin) Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 2000.
(Author of introduction) Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 2002.
Also author of audiotapes The Liberty of Discipline (based on his book Celebration of Discipline) and Practicing Simplicity (based on his book Freedom of Simplicity), both Word Publishing, 1983. Author of film series Celebration of Discipline (based on his book of the same title), Victory Films, 1984; also author of video The Challenge to the Disciplined Life: A Christian View of Money, Sex, and Power, David C. Cook, 1987. Contributor of column "Going Deeper" to Faith and Work; contributor of articles to periodicals in the United States and Europe.
Celebration of Discipline has been translated into Chinese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Korean, and Japanese.
ADAPTATIONS: Money, Sex, Power: The Challenge of the Disciplined Life was recorded as an audibook, Harper Audio, 1988.
SIDELIGHTS: The premise for Richard J. Foster's bestselling Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth lies in its opening lines: "Superficiality is the curse of our age. . . . The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent, or gifted people, but for deep people." Foster defines a theological solution to this "curse" of superficiality by introducing and examining twelve basic Christian principles: four "inward disciplines" (meditation, prayer, fasting, study), four "outward disciplines" (simplicity, solitude, submission, service), and four "corporate disciplines" (confession, worship, guidance, celebration). With its updated editions, study guides, and tape and video incarnations, Celebration of Discipline has become a contemporary Christian classic with wide appeal across sectarian and national lines. In its aftermath Foster has become a well-known author of books and articles that guide Christian believers to a deeper understanding of their faith. He is also the founder of Renovare, an ecumenical spiritual revival movement.
Foster's books vary in scope from wide treatments of the history of the Christian faith in Streams of Living Water: The Great Traditions of the Christian Faith to works intended for use as daily devotional or prayer guides. Into the latter category fall Seeking the Kingdom: Devotions for the Daily Journey of Faith and Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised Streams of Living Water for its "engaging writing and thoughtful presentation," noting that Foster is "adept at simplifying diffuse subjects." Another Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that the devotions in Seeking the Kingdom "are gentle yet speak directly to the heart." Commonweal correspondent Lawrence S. Cunningham concluded that Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home is "an extremely readable and non-technical work of devotion in the best sense of the term."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Foster, Richard J., Celebration of Discipline: The Path of Spiritual Growth, Harper (New York, NY), 1978, revised edition, 1988.
America, December 9, 2000, Richard J. Hauser, "United under the Same Spirit: Ecumenical Reading," p. 24.
Christian Century, February 24, 1993, Malcolm Boyd, review of Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, p. 215; April 24, 2002, Richard A. Kauffman, review of Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community, p. 36.
Commonweal, March 26, 1993, Lawrence S. Cunningham, review of Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, July 10, 1995, review of Seeking the Kingdom: Devotions for the Daily Journey of Faith, p. 28; September 28, 1998, review of Streams of Living Water: The Great Traditions of the Christian Faith, p. 93.
Renovare Web site,http://www.renovare.org/ (November 7, 2003).*