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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Richard Wood’s Comments

Richard Wood asked for clarification on why I thought faith-based mediating institutions were necessary for successful immigrant assimilation. Can’t the French system, for example, guarantee upward immigrant mobility through other means? Isn’t the reason...
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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 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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Conversations with Robert Bellah

I originally published this blog post on March 13, 2013,  Black, White and Gray, a blog hosted by Patheos.  Click here to read the full post. “Sitting in his office perched above the hills in Berkeley, California, yesterday I got to meet one of the legends of...
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When is Suffering Transformative? Sullivan’s “Living Faith: Everyday Religion and Mothers in Poverty”

On November 14, 2012, I posted this blog on the Black, White and Gray blog, hosted by Patheos. Click here to read the full post. “According to the women Susan Crawford Sullivan interviewed for Living Faith: Everyday Religion and Mothers in Poverty, what do...
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Dinner at Seldom Blues with Doug Massey

A nice reunion with my former mentor and collaborator Doug...
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New friends from Princeton

PAA means meeting old friends and getting connected to up-and-coming scholars like these Princeton graduate students Alex Rivas and Julia...
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Theodicy at Notre Dame d’Haiti, Miami, March 2010

In March 2010, I visited Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church in Miami’s neighborhood called Little Haiti, where I did fieldwork for my book. I had the opportunity to attend Mass at Notre Dame with other academics who are members of the Congregational...
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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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God and Suffering: Remembering the Haitian Earthquake of January 2010

On January 11, 2012, I published this post on Black White and Gray blog “God and Suffering: Remembering the Haitian Earthquake of January 2010.” “Rather than attributing a natural disaster to an individual’s sins or the collective sins of a people,...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary