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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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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Seldom Blues hosts

Katherine Donato, Bill Kandel and Kristin Espinoza at Seldom...
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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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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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Miami Herald Easter Sunday Article on Faith and Social Action at Notre Dame d’Haiti in Miami

Click here to read an article published on Easter Sunday in the Miami Herald about the faith and social activities at Notre Dame d’Haiti in Miami (one of the sites of my fieldwork) in response to the...
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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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Best Selling Books in Sociology of Religion, SSSR 2011

Posted on the Black, White and Gray blog on November 6, 2011, my thoughts on recent bestsellers in sociology of religion this year. “Last weekend at the meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, I perused the book sale, wondering “What...
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Who is a a Convert?

My October 12, 2011, entry for the Patheos blog Black, White and Gray asked: Who is a Convert? “Writing in the Wall Street Journal opinion page on September 16, 2011, Religion News Service journalist David Gibson asked, who is stronger in the faith, Converts vs....
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Can We Learn from Haitians’ Resilience?

Margarita A. Mooney’s response to: “A Celebration of Faith, Even Among Church Ruins.” By Fred Grimm. Published in the Miami Herald, January 18, 2010. Accessed on January 18th, 2010. Click here to read Grimm’s column. I congratulate Fred Grimm for his...
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“The 21st Century Will be a Century of Ethics or It Will Not Be”

On May 2, 2012, I published this post on theBlack, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos. In a recent post on Black, White and Gray, Wheaton sociology professor Amy Reynolds asked “What Makes a Development Expert?” Pondering who should be the next president of...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary