Mar 17 2022

Dr. Margarita Mooney – Suffering, Solidarity & Resilience: Sacred and Everyday Liturgies and The Search for Happiness

March 17th, 2022

Lecture Description: 
During the lecture, Dr. Margarita Mooney Suarez will share how Catholic moral and social teaching can help us better understand how sacred liturgical practices and everyday rituals can foster resilience and solidarity. She will give examples from her life history interviews of people with long suffering and share case studies of religious and secular communities that seek solidarity with the suffering. Suffering does not necessarily deprive anyone of wholeness.

On the contrary, when faced with suffering, human virtues like justice and prudence, alongside supernatural virtues of mercy and hope can help people grow in holiness. She will reflect on how people of faith can foster the theological and human virtues in the midst of suffering. Some examples include penitential practices like retreats and fasting, which prepare us to better receive God’s mercy and to forgive others. Liturgical feast days, pilgrimages, and praying with sacred images provide points of contact between the sacred and the human which allow us to perceive the mysterious connection between suffering and redemption.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Margarita Mooney Suarez is associate professor of congregational studies in the Department of Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University, and her B.A. in psychology at Yale University. She has also been on the faculty of Yale University, Princeton University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Pepperdine University. At Princeton Theological Seminary, she teaches classes on philosophy of social science, Christianity and the liberals arts tradition, aesthetics, research methods for congregational leaders, intentional communities, and sociology of religion. Her research has received approximately $3 million in funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

Dr. Mooney Suarez’s most recent book The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts (Cluny Media, 2021) grew out of her decades of experience as a teacher and scholar. Her 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.

In addition to her scholarly books and articles, Dr. Mooney Suarez has written for publications that reach wide audiences both inside and outside academia such as Real Clear Policy, Scientific American, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Miami Herald, Plough Magazine, America Magazine, First Things, Hedgehog Review, Public Discourse, Church Life Journal, and the National Catholic Register. 

In 2016, Dr. Mooney Suarez founded Scala Foundation, which seeks to infuse meaning and purpose into American education by restoring a classical liberal arts education.

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