Margarita Mooney is a scholar, author, educator, mentor and public speaker with interests in integrating sociological, philosophical and theological approaches to virtues and the common good. As an Associate Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, she teaches classes such as philosophy of social science, religion and social theory, and intentional communities. In 2016, she started Scala Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating classical liberal arts education and preserving the ideas and practices necessary to maintain a free society. Scala’s reading groups, dinner seminars and travel events emphasize hospitality and friendship, aiming to help students connect their intellectual development with character formation and generating transformative educational experiences and authentic friendships. Mooney is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Living a Broken Life, Beautifully that explores the religious lives of young adults who have experienced traumatic life events.
After receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University, she conducted fieldwork on the re-integration into civilian life of ex-combatants in Central America. she then earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University, publishing her dissertation as the book, Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009). Before returning to Princeton in 2016, she was on the faculty of the Sociology Departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2007-2013) and Yale University (2013-2016). As a faculty resident fellow of Calhoun College at Yale, Mooney led numerous student discussion groups about the art and science of happiness, and guided students towards practical applications that improve their wellbeing and that of others around them.