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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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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What Two Deaths Taught Me about Doing Fieldwork

On November 7, 2012, I published this post on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos. “On this day 16 years ago—November 7, 1996—I walked in to my office at the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in San Jose, Costa Rica, to find out that my...
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Reuniting with international friends

I was the discussant on a panel about educational attainment. One of the presenters was Silvia Giorguli, the former Vice-President of the Mexican Society of Demography. I first met Silvia and the Mexican Society of Demography meetings in Merida, Mexico, in October...
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Reverend Wright

Reverend Wright telling us about the history of this African-American and immigrant Black congregation. When the congregation outgrew the original church, they built a new church and made the old church a museum of African-American and Cape Verdian history on Cape...
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Seldom Blues hosts

Katherine Donato, Bill Kandel and Kristin Espinoza at Seldom...
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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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Author-Meets Critics Session at the Association for the Sociology of Religion

Phillip Connor of Princeton University introduces the panelists for the author-meets-critics session about my book at the Association for the Sociology of Religion meetings on Monday, August 10th, 2009. The panelists were (from left to right): Solange Lefebvre...
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Conversations with Robert Bellah

I originally published this blog post on March 13, 2013,  Black, White and Gray, a blog hosted by Patheos.  Click here to read the full post. “Sitting in his office perched above the hills in Berkeley, California, yesterday I got to meet one of the legends of...
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Flow: Order in Consciousness

I originally published this blog post on May 29, 2013,  Black, White and Gray, a blog hosted by Patheos.  Click here to read the full post. “Did you know that you can actually increase your ability to enjoy the things in life that produce the greatest...
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Review of My Book Published in the Miami Herald

On Thursday, October 21, 2010, Marifeli Perez-Stable, Professor of Sociology at Florida International University, published a review of my book in The Miami Herald. Click here to see the review. Her review shows a great appreciation for both the ethnographic and the...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary