Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary

I am a scholar, educator, mentor and author who is interested in how inter-disciplinary work in social sciences, philosophy and theology can contribute both to a scientific understanding of the world and contribute practical knowledge about the art of everyday living. After studying psychology at Yale University, I worked in Costa Rica for three years at the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, where I conducted fieldwork on the re-integration into civilian life of ex-combatants in Central America in the mid-1990s. As a graduate student in sociology at Princeton University, I aimed to integrate rigorous sociological methods with normative and practical considerations. My dissertation was published as a book Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009). Based on 16 months of fieldwork in Haiti, Canada, France and the US and using census and immigration data, I demonstrated how religious communities support the successful adaptation of Haitian immigrants in the U.S., Canada and France.

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Published Articles and Book Chapters

Margarita Mooney. “Narratives, Religion and Traumatic Life Events Among Young Adults.” Social Thought and Research, Volume 33 (2014), pp. 45-82. DOI:10.17161/STR.1808.18445. Click here to read this paper.

Stephanie Potochnick and Margarita A. Mooney. “The Decade of Immigrant Dispersion and Growth: A Cohort Analysis of Children of Immigrants‘ Educational Experiences 1990-2002”. International Migration Review. Online article published 2014. Print version forthcoming 2015. DOI: 10.1111/imre.12111

Margarita Mooney. “Virtues and Human Personhood in the Social Sciences.” Pp. 21-44 in The Palgrave Handbook of Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity: Formulating a Field of Study. Vincent Jeffries, editor. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. Click here to read this paper.

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Book Reviews

Review of: Une Laïcité ‘Légitme’: La France et ses religions d’État. [“‘Legimiate’Laicité: France and its state religions.”]  By Raphaël Liogier. Paris: Entre Nous, 2006. In Contemporary Sociology 39 (3): pp.319-210. 2010. Click here to see this review.

Review of: Across Generations: Immigrant Families in America. By Nancy Foner (ed.) New York: New York University Press, 2009. In Contemporary Sociology 39 (1): pp. 33-35. 2010 Click here to see this review.

Review of: Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America’s Newest Immigrants. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2007. By Fred Kniss and Paul D. Numrich. Reviewed for Social Forces. Forthcoming, 2010

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Teaching

Princeton Theological Seminary (2016-Present)

  • Religion, Resilience and Vulnerability. (Fall 2016)
  • Monastic Traditions and Christian Spiritualties (Mentorship Group, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017).
  • Christianity in Cuba (Travel Course, January 2017).
  • Philosophy of Social Science (Spring 2017).
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Critical Realist Research Methods

What might critical realist research methods look like? At the 2015 Annual Meetings of the International Association of Critical Realism, I discussed some common problems I saw in syllabi and textbooks used to teach sociological methods. With the help of Cameron Yick,...
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Teaching Sociology at Princeton Theological Seminary

I’ve received my dream job. I’ve enthusiastically accepted the calling to use my expertise in sociology to the serve the students and faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). I will start my new position as Associate Professor of Congregational Studies on July...
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How Effective is Online Learning? Insights from Sociology of Religion Online

On June 6, 2012, I published this post on theBlack, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos, the fourth post in a series about Teaching Sociology of Religion Online. “Earlier in this series of posts about my experience teaching sociology of religion, I wrote about...
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Mass at Notre Dame d’Haiti in Montreal

The readings during Mass at Notre Dame echoed two of the themes from my book–keeping the faith in the middle of struggling to survive and being generous even when one is poor. In the first reading, from Kings 17, the prophet Elijah asks a woman for water and...
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Article in America magazine on Faith, Suffering and Resilience

I published an article in the Jesuit magazine America where I discuss faith, suffering, and resilience in Haiti. Click hereto see a link to that article. For now, the full article is only available online to subscribers, but if the full article is made available to...
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Are Religious Organizations Like Firms?

I initially published this post on March 21, 2012, on on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos. “Can ideas from economics, such as that monopolies are lazy and that competition leads to better products, be applied to understand religion? Every year I...
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The Calhoun Happiness Project at Yale

I originally published this post on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos on October 10, 2013. “How can Yale undergraduates learn and apply principles from positive psychology and positive sociology? More than 20 students jointed the Calhoun Happiness...
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Release of Taming the River (Princeton U. Press)

My departure to PAA coincides with the arrival of the first copies of my co-authored book “Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial and Social Currents in Selective Colleges and Universities” (with Camille Z. Charles, Mary J. Fischer, and...
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Starting Points for Positive Sociology

On January 9, 2012, I posted this blog on the Black, White and Gray blog, hosted by Patheos. Click here to read the full post. “Ever since I met Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, at his home near Philadelphia last fall to discuss what...
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Theodicy at Notre Dame d’Haiti, Miami, March 2010

In March 2010, I visited Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church in Miami’s neighborhood called Little Haiti, where I did fieldwork for my book. I had the opportunity to attend Mass at Notre Dame with other academics who are members of the Congregational...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary