Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary

I am a scholar, author, educator, mentor and public speaker with interests in integrating sociological, philosophical and theological approaches to virtues and the common good. As an Associate Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, I teach classes such as philosophy of social science, religion and social theory, and intentional communities. In 2016, I started Scala Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating classical liberal arts education and preserving the ideas and practices necessary to maintain a free society. Scala’s reading groups, dinner seminars and travel events emphasize hospitality and friendship, aiming to help students connect their intellectual development with character formation and generating transformative educational experiences and authentic friendships.I’m currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Living a Broken Life, Beautifully that explores the religious lives of young adults who have experienced traumatic life events. My research has been funded by two grants from the John Templeton Foundation totaling more than $3 million.

Living the Question: Highlights from Scala’s 2018 Summer Seminar

“This seminar blew my mind.” “This seminar is genius.” Those were just some of the comments from the 14 students from all over the US who came together for 12 days to read 26 authors and hundreds of pages of text all on the topic of liberal arts education, faith and...

Newman’s Vision of Liberal Arts Education

As a graduate student many years ago, I found myself wondering how I was going to integrate knowledge from my chosen discipline of sociology with various other fields. Then another student recommended I read John Henry Newman’s book The Idea of a University, a classic...

Being a Contemplative Academic

I’m a contemplative academic. But what exactly does that mean? I have spent nearly two and a half decades in a university setting, either as a student or a professor. But it was only recently that I realized that my vocation, my particular way of being a professor, is...

What Led me to Luigi Guissani

Introductory remarks as moderator at the Giussani Series on Faith and Modernity event “Can a Modern Person Still Reasonably Believe in Divinity?” Tonight we gather as a way of recalling the life and writings of Luigi Giussani. Fr. Luigi Giussani is well-known as the...

What do you Teach? Sociology and Theology

Whenever I tell people I teach sociology and theology, I get a puzzled look. For people who know little about either field, I often get questions like: What is that exactly? What kinds of courses do you teach? Who takes your courses? For those who know more about the...

10 Things I Have Learned from Teaching about Intentional Communities

1. A working definition of intentional community is: “Groupings of people who have left their own milieu to live with others under the same roof, and work from a new vision of human beings and their relationships with each other and God ” (Jean Vanier, Community and...

Doing a Whole Lot of Nothing at a Monastery

“I won’t get anything done this weekend!”, I lamented to a friend over lunch the day before I took a group of students to Regina Laudis, a women’s Benedictine monastery, for the weekend. Then I listed for her all the work I felt I could have been doing that weekend:...

Incorporating Critical Realism into Research Methods Classes

This is the third of three blogs in which I list 23 readings we could use to teach about the methodological implications of CR. Don't forget to register for my webinar in CR & Research Methods on April 28, 2016, at 12 noon EDT (you can see the recording even if you...

Critical Realism in Action: 5 Great Articles Using Critical Realism in Social Science Research

In preparation for my upcoming webinar on CR & Research Methods on April 28, 2016, at 12 noon EDT, I wrote a recent blog post about my five favorite books on showing why critical realism matters for social science research. This post is about my five favorite articles...

Books on Critical Realism and Sociological Research Methods

As part of an upcoming webinar on Critical Realism and Sociological Research Methods that I'm leading on April 28, 2016 at 12 noon, I will be posting a series of blogs with some resources on how critical realism can influence social science research methods. Although...

The 2018 Luigi Giussani Series on Faith and Modernity

Can a modern person still reasonably believe in the divinity of Christ?

Invited Lectures

Margarita A. Mooney. “What Led me to Luigi Guissani.” Introductory remarks as moderator at the Giussani Series on Faith and Modernity event: “Can a Modern Person Still Reasonably Believe in Divinity?” Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Margarita A. Mooney. “Augusto del Noce on Secularization.” Talk given at the Elm Institute, New Haven, CT. March 5, 2018.

Margarita A. Mooney. Panelist at “Liberalism and Christianity Conference.” Co-sponsored by Harvard Law School and the Thomistic Institute. Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Margarita A. Mooney. “Augusto del Noce on the Crisis of Modernity.” Talk given at the Abigail Adams Institute, Cambridge, MA. March 2, 2018.


Princeton Theological Seminary (2016-Present)

  • Religion, Resilience and Vulnerability (Fall 2016 and Spring 2019)
  • Philosophy of Social Science (Spring 2017 and Fall 2018)
  • Research Methods for Studying Congregations (Spring 2017)
  • Religion and Social Theory (Fall 2017)
  • Christianity and the Liberal Arts Tradition (January term 2019)
  • Mentored two Master’s theses

Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary