Authentic Cosmopolitanism: Love, Sin, and Grace in the Christian University

By R.J. Snell and Steven D. Cone

An exploration of the underpinings of Christian higher education, in which the mission of the university can develop an authentic mode of living based on love.

ISBN: 9780227174166


Humans are lovers, and yet a good deal of pedagogical theory, Christian or otherwise, assumes an anthropology at odds with human nature, fixed in a model of humans as “thinking things”.

Turning to Augustine, or at least Augustine in conversation with Aquinas, Martin Heidegger, the overlooked Jesuit thinker Bernard Lonergan, and the important contemporary Charles Taylor, this book provides a normative vision for Christian higher education. A phenomenological reappropriation of human subjectivity reveals an authentic order to love, even when damaged by sin, and loves, made authentic by grace, allow the intellectually, morally, and religiously converted person to attain an integral unity. Properly understanding the integral relation between love and the fullness of human life overcomes the split between intellectual and moral formation, allowing transformed subjects – authentic lovers – to live, seek, and work towards the values of a certain kind of cosmopolitanism.

Christian universities exist to make cosmopolitans, properly understood, namely, those persons capable of living authentically. In other words, this text gives a fully rounded account of human flourishing, rooted in a phenomenological account of the human as basis for the mission of the university.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 202

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

R.J. Snell is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program at Eastern University, as well as Research Director for the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good.

Steven D. Cone is Assistant Professor of Theology and Chair of the Bible/Theology Field in the Undergraduate School at Lincoln Christian University.


Thinkers or Lovers: A Brief Introduction

Part One: The Order of Authentic Love and Intellectual Conversion
1. Noetic Exegesis and the Authentic Intellect
2. Martin Heidegger, Charles Taylor, and the Caring Person
3. Bernard Lonergan, Intellectual Conversion, and Authentic Love

Part Two: Educating for Moral and Religious Conversion
4. Disorder and Revolt: The Effects of Sin
5. The Graciousness of Being-There: Moral and Religious Conversion

Part Three: Educating for Value: Authentic Humans and the Order of Love
6. Value Ethics: Forming Moral Agents
7. Cosmopolis: Value, Justice, Authenticity

Conclusion: An Education for Our Time


Endorsements and Reviews

Here is a valuable contribution to Christian reflection on the foundational problems of education and spiritual order. Cone and Snell are alive to the dynamics of love, wonder, and bias in the unfolding of the human spirit. They creatively reappropriate and enrich a great tradition to propose a compelling vision for Christian higher education. Anyone serious about cultural renewal will profit from this book.
Jeremy D. Wilkins, Associate Professor, Regis College at the University of Toronto

Authentic Cosmopolitanism is an important contribution to the ongoing discussions and debates about the institutional goods of the university and their cultural function in modern life. It is, on one hand, a very serviceable and dialogical introduction to the thought of Bernard Lonergan, but is also, on the other, an intervention into a much broader conversation. … [The book] provides practitioners with the theoretical elements they need to return to practical with a greater understanding of their tasks.
Ryan T. Hemmer, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 24, Issue 4