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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Article Published on Disaster, Religion, and Resilience in Haiti

On Wednesday, February 24th, I published an online article at “The Immanent Frame”, a web forum sponsored by Social Science Research Council, in which I argue that disaster relief efforts in Haiti can be bolstered by building on the resilience of the...
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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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Author-Meets-Critics Panel at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

In October 2009, Kevin Christiano of Notre Dame convened an author-meets-critics panel on my book, Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora, at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. The three panelists were...
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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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Books on Critical Realism and Sociological Research Methods

As part of an upcoming webinar on Critical Realism and Sociological Research Methods that I’m leading on April 28, 2016 at 12 noon, I will be posting a series of blogs with some resources on how critical realism can influence social science research methods....
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Here’s to My Students: You Make Teaching a Joy

On June 20, 2012, I published this post on the Black, White and Gray blog hosted by Patheos, the fifth and final post in a series about teaching Sociology of Religion Online. “Yesterday I finished teaching a 5-week online course in sociology of religion. As I...
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History of Zion Baptist Church

Members of the Engaged Scholars listening to the history of this multi-ethnic...
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Why Positive Sociology Needs Tragic Sociology

How might positive psychology and positive sociology benefit from greater engagement with theological views of suffering? At a the 2015 meetings of the American Sociological Association (ASA), I explained why I think positive psychology, and the nascent field of...
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American Sociological Assocation Book Exhibit

Ruben Rumbaut and I chatted in front of the University of California Book Exhibit at the American Sociological Association that featured my book. This picture was taken on Monday, August...
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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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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary