Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary

I am a scholar, author, educator and mentor with interests in happiness, virtue and the common good. After earning my B.A. in Psychology from Yale University, I conducted fieldwork on the re-integration into civilian life of ex-combatants in Central America in the mid-1990s. Seeing how communities recovered more quickly from the devastating civil wars because they had strong leadership and numerous community organizations led me to earn my M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. My book Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009) 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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Seeking the Sacred?

Original post published April 1, 2016 on Black, White, & Gray. How do people seek the sacred? For a recent project, I interviewed 26 young adults in 10 different states about hardships they had faced. I asked how those hardships influenced their close...
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Gerardo Marti’s Comments

Gerardo Marti, Associate Professor of Sociology at Davidson College (pictured here with me), said he thinks my book’s greatest contribution is the cross-national comparative research design, which allows me to highlight the importance of the nation-state’s...
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Presenting My Book at Notre Dame d’Haiti in Montreal

On Sunday, November 8, 2009, I returned to Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic mission in Montreal, where I had done part of my fieldwork for Faith Makes Us Live several years earlier. I must admit that I was nervous when I returned to my fieldsite. Would people...
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What do We Pray For?

On October 19, 2011, I published a piece for Patheos on the Black, White and Gray blog entitled:  What Do we Pray for? “So one day, I finally asked a woman I had been helping tutor English to, who I call Julia in my book, “Julia, what do you ask for when you...
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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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Want to Fight the Man? Reform is Hard Work

Published on February, 15, 2012, on the Black, White, and Gray blog. Click here to read the full post. “In his recent column responding to the You Tube hit video, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus,” New York Times Columnist David Brookssent a clear message to...
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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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My Conversation with Islamic Reform Scholar Mohsen Kadivar

Published on February 1, 2012, on the Black, White and Gray blog, my post on Islamic reform scholar Mohsen Kadivar. Click here to read the full post. “Although he is known by many as a political dissident, Islamic scholar Mohsen Kadivar emphasized to me over...
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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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Markets and Morals

Posted February 22, 2012, on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos. Click here to read the full post. “My students next will read Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom, in which he argues that material goods are means to higher ends, namely freedoms....
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary