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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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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The Media and Research on Religion

On October 26, 2011, I wrote on the Black, White and Gray blog about how I am teaching students to integrate peer-reviewed research on religion with what they read in the media (newspapers, magazines, and online). Here’s part of what I had to say. To see the...
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Review of My Book Published in the Canadian Journal of Sociology

Philippe Couton of the University Ottawa published a review of my book, Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving the Haitian Diaspora, in the fall edition of the Canadian Journal of Sociology. This is an open-access journal, so all should be able to access it by...
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Haitians’ Gratitude Reminds us of the Meaning of Thanksgiving

It is appropriate Anne Barnard’s excellent coverage of Haitian Catholicism, entitled “Suffering, Haitians Turn to Charismatic Prayer,” should appear on the front page of the New York Times on Thanksgiving Day, for one of the strongest themes of Haitian Catholic...
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Branding Your Scholarly Passion on Social Media: A Three-Week Course Through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

How many scholars have told me that social media takes away from their work? Certainly more than those who have told me social media enhances their scholarship and teaching. As part of National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) guest expert...
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Omar McRobert’s Comments

Omar McRoberts also complimented my three-country research design. I have to give the credit to my dissertation advisor, Alejandro Portes, for encouraging me to compare the same group of immigrants in three countries. Michele Lamont, who was also on my dissertation...
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Happiness at Yale

On September 16, 2014, I published this article in Public Discourse. College students, like everyone else, want to be happy. Educators should help them ground this desire for happiness in acts of virtue. Students at a one-week seminar on happiness I co-taught recently...
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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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Interview Published by the NY-based National Center for Haitian Apostolate

On June 23, 2010, the National Center for Haitian Apostolate, based in New York, published an extensive interview with me where I talk about my book and its implications for post-earthquake Haiti and Haitian-Americans. Click here to read the...
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Virtue and Vulnerability

Is Viktor Frankl’s life a story of resilience or vulnerability? It’s both, I think. Frankl survived the Nazi concentration camps and went on to an influential career as a psychiatrist and writer. Yet, he never forgot how his experiences of pain and...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary