James Foster, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Theology and Philosophy

Dr. Foster received a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2013 after spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Today he is the Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Sioux Falls, the director of the Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy and the editor of the Journal of Scottish Philosophy. 


  • Ph.D., Philosophy and Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2013
  • Th.M., Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2007
  • M.Div., Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2006
  • B.S., Computer Engineering, Northwestern University, 2002

Courses Taught

  • THE240 - Introduction to ChristianThought and Practice
  • PHI207 - Intro to Philosophy
  • PHI216 - Thinking about the Arts
  • PHI324 - Political Philosophy
  • PHI341 - Ethics
  • PHI350 - Philosophy of Religion
  • PHI390 - Philosophy Meets Theology
  • LAR211 - University Honors Core I
  • LAR212 - University Honors Core II
  • THE313 - Religions of the World
  • MAT373 - Truth and Beauty: Topics in thePhilosophy of Mathematics**Designated Honors Course**
  • SOC330 - Sociology Of Religion


  • Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century


Scottish Enlightenment Philosophy

  • Thomas Reid's Ethics, Epistemology, and Natural Theology
  • Scottish Philosophy in America

Scholarships and Creative Work

  • ‘Patching Up Virtue: Overcoming the Emersonian/Augustinian divide in Jennifer Herdt’s Putting on Virtue’, Journal of Religious Ethics 41.4., 2013.
  • ‘Continuity or Break: Danto and Gadamer on the Crisis of Anti-Aestheticism’, Journal of Aesthetic Education, 45.2, 2011.
  • ‘Sphere Sovereignty: A Reluctant Friend of Civil Unions’, Kuyper Review, Vol. 1, 2010.
  • ‘Reid’s Reply to Hume on Double-Vision’, The Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 6.2., 2008.
  • Thomas Reid and the Defense of Duty. University of Edinburgh Press. Forthcoming 2022.
  • Reid on Religion, Editor, Library of Scottish Philosophy, Exeter, UK, & Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic, forthcoming 2016.
  • Scottish Philosophy in America, Editor, Library of Scottish Philosophy, Exeter, U.K. & Charlottesville, Va.: Imprint Academic, (July, 2012)
Book Chapters
  • ‘Scottish Philosophy and American Theology – Witherspoon and McCosh’, History of Scottish Theology, Volume II. eds. Mark Elliot and David Fergusson, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019.
  • Review of Bob Tennant’s Conscience, Consciousness, & Ethics in Joseph Butler’s Philosophy and Ministry, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 81.2, 2012.
  • Review of Sabine Roeser’s (ed.) Reid on Ethics, Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 10.1., 2012.
  • Review of J Caleb Clanton’s Religion and Democratic Citizenship, Soundings, 91.1-2., 2009.
  • Review of Alistair Mutch’s Religion and National Identity: Governing Scottish Presbyterianism in the Eighteenth Century. Scottish Historical Review 95.1, 2016.
  • ‘What isn’t Enlightenment: Thomas Reid on Utopia and not Thinking for Yourself’ – Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy Conference, March 2015.
  • ‘Scottish Philosophy and American Theology in Princeton’ – British Society for the History of Philosophy – May 2014.
  • ‘Can I Deny the Existence of God? The Misuse of Wittgenstein’s “Language-games” by Friends and Enemies of Religion’ – South Dakota Philosophical Society, November 2013.
  • ‘Reason & Revelation in Thomas Reid’s Theology’ – Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies Seminar Series, February 2013.
  • ‘Reid, Practical Ethics, and Protestant Theology’ – AAR Mid-Atlantic Conference, March 2011.
  • ‘How Real is Reid’s Moral Realism?’ – 2nd Princeton International Symposium on Scottish Philosophy & The 18th Century Scottish Studies Society Annual Conference in Association with the Adam Smith Society, June 2010.
  • ‘Reid and Skepticism’ – Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy Conference, March 2010.
  • ‘Sphere Sovereignty and Civil Unions’ – Abraham Kuyper Conference on ‘Sphere Sovereignty and Civil Society’, April 2008.

Service/Volunteer Work

Honorary Research Fellow

University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Theologian in Residence

Parish Associate at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Assessment Committee

2013-14 Member
2014-17 Secretary

Reviews Editor

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 2014-2017


Journal of Scottish Philosophy


Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy