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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Leisure and Worship: A Christmas Message

Published on December 21, 2011, on the Black White and Gray blog. Click here to see the full post. “Until recently, I thought leisure was what I do when I’m too tired to work. After much prodding, I finally read Josef Pieper’s Leisure the Basis of...
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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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Mary Torr and Family

After three years in the Navy and having three boys, Mary Torr enrolled at UNC. After graduation, she will pursue a Master’s in Social Work at NC State. She wrote a senior thesis on children in foster...
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Virtue and Vulnerability

Is Viktor Frankl’s life a story of resilience or vulnerability? It’s both, I think. Frankl survived the Nazi concentration camps and went on to an influential career as a psychiatrist and writer. Yet, he never forgot how his experiences of pain and...
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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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Identical Triplets!

Parfait Gasana, the co-recipient of the 2009 Odum Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Sociology at UNC, with his identical triplet brothers. They were the first known identical triplets born in Rwanda–and apparently doctors came from all over to have a...
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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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Branding Your Scholarly Passion on Social Media: A Three-Week Course Through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

How many scholars have told me that social media takes away from their work? Certainly more than those who have told me social media enhances their scholarship and teaching. As part of National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) guest expert...
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“No More Choices, Please!”

I originally published this blog post on May 1, 2013,  Black, White and Gray, a blog hosted by Patheos.  Click here to read the full post. “Have you ever felt overwhelmed at the number of choices to buy a salad dressing at the grocery store? Have you ever failed...
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Nancy Ammerman’s Comments

Nancy Ammerman was impressed with the research design of my book that allows us to see the effects of macro-level structures of law, policy and culture on how immigrants form religious communities and how those communities support their adaptation. She complimented me...
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Margarita Mooney

Associate Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary