Conceptions of the Soul: Some Implications for Contemporary Culture
Does the soul exist? If so, what would that mean for our positions on contemporary moral issues?
Listen to a leading American sociologist wade into these philosophical waters facing society today.
This year's Annual Truman G. Madsen lecture was given by Dr. Jacqueline Rivers, director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies.
Miss the lecture? Watch the recorded lecture here.
About Dr. Jacqueline Rivers Jacqueline C. Rivers is a lecturer in Sociology at Harvard University; the Executive
Director and Senior Fellow for Social Science and Policy of the Seymour Institute for
Black Church and Policy Studies and a Senior Fellow at The King’s College in New York
City. She was a Hutchins Fellow in the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard
University and has presented at Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, the
University of Pennsylvania, the Vatican, Stanford University, the United Nations and in
several other venues.
Her publications include "The Paradox of the Black Church and Religious Freedom”
in the University of St. Thomas Law Journal; a chapter in the volume Not Just Good but
Beautiful; another in Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American
Reconciliation and a chapter co-authored with Orlando Patterson in The Cultural Matrix
published by Harvard University Press.
Dr. Rivers works with leaders in the ecumenical black church to promote a philosophical,
political, and theological framework for a pro-poor, pro-life, pro-family movement and has
worked on issues of social justice and Christian activism in the black community for more
than thirty years. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Religious Freedom Institute,
the Board of Directors for Becket Law, the Board of Directors for the Center for Early African
Christianity and on the Religious Liberty Initiative Board of Advisors at University of
About the Annual Truman G. Madsen Lecture on Eternal Man
One of the highlights of the BYU academic year is the annual Truman G. Madsen Lecture on Eternal Man which consistently brings to campus insight and inspiration from internationally renowned scholars. Truman G. Madsen was a renowned philosopher, teacher, and biographer and regarded as one of the greatest Latter-day Saint thinkers of our time. One of his goals as a founding senior fellow of the Wheatley Institute was to bring academic experts and civic leaders “to the fire” at BYU. In honor of this goal, the Madsen Lecture on Eternal Man series features leading scholars of faith, giving them opportunities to share their work with the BYU community.