Cosmopolitanism is an ancient concept whose meaning and significance have shifted over the last two millennia. Most recently, cosmopolitanism has been resurrected to mean “world citizenship” – a renunciation of one’s national identity for the sake of the universal human family. While such an endeavor seems as though it should correspond to Catholic social thought, its iterations in academia and elsewhere have resulted in a preoccupation with personal identity and political doctrine rather than love. Cosmopolitanism is complex and harbors many weaknesses in both theory and practice. Considered in relation to universalism in Catholic social thought, one weakness is thrown into specific relief: cosmopolitanism as a personal identity or political doctrine lacks a unified philosophy of the human person. This essay recasts the desire to form solidarity across national boundaries as universalism within Trinitarian anthropology and discusses accompaniment as exemplary of the love this thought system requires.

About the Author

Kathleen Glenister Roberts (M.A., University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., Indiana University-Bloomington) is Director of the Honors College and Associate Professor of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University.