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 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...
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Pope Benedict in Cuba: There is No Fatherland Without Virtue

I initially published this post on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos. Perhaps by now you have seen one of these images of two ideological opposites, Pope Benedict XVI and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who met for 30 minutes at the end of the Pope’s...
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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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Testimony from Cuba: The Pope’s Visit was an Oasis

On April 4, 2012, I published this post on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos, the second post in a series about Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba in March 2012. “In her email to me this week, Laura said  how elated she was that since Cuba decided to...
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Academic Fraud ‘Undermines the Moral Purpose of an Education’

I published this post on October 27, 2014, in the Chronicle of Higher Education “Most of the debate following recent revelations of academic fraud at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has focused on the desire to keep athletes academically eligible...
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Faith Based Social Services: An Essential Part of Civil Society

Published November 30, 2011, on the Black, White and Gray blog. To read the full article, click here. “History, sociology and anthropology all tell us that people’s religious faith will continue to inspire them to do faith-based social service work, and many...
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My Happiness Project

I originally published this blog post on February 6, 2013,  Black, White and Gray, a blog hosted by Patheos. Click here to read the full post. “When I first started read Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling book, The Happiness Project, I thought, “Wow, she does...
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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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Three Things I Love about Teaching Sociology of Religion Online

On May 23, 2012, I published this post on theBlack, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos, the third post in a series about teaching Sociology of Religion Online. Here I am again, spending my “free” time thinking how much I love teaching sociology of religion...
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Melissa Wilde’s Comments

Melissa Wilde commented on my argument that although France and Quebec try to define an officially “neutral” policy toward religion, in practice their policies do not seem neutral. To extend my argument in the book, I argue that the state cannot be neutral...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary