I think an observer of the opinionating of Mr. David Brooks just might readily look at his essay How Movements Recover, in which he reaches back to the Donatist movement (Heresy) in early Christianity, he references Peter Brown’s biography of Augustine, as a movement of reaction and defense compared to the embrace of the spiritual creativity and openness of Augustine. The interpolation of Brown through Brooks might meet with some deserved skepticism!
I’m reading James J. O’ Donnell’s Augustine: A New Biography and quite frankly, the portrait that Mr. O’Donnell creates of Augustine is one of a failed public career, reinvigorated by a crass self-promoter and opportunist, in the world of the church, who battled the heresy’s of Arianism and Donatism. He even managed to anger that other old Christian fraud Jerome. In fact Jerome’s letter, pages 93-96 of Mr. O’Donnell book,is withering in it’s unalloyed contempt for the theological/political machinations of Augustine.
But never mind, this is just a tedious, convoluted and intellectually pretentious introduction to Mr. Brooks genuflection in the direction of the latest occupant of the papal throne, Francis I. Mr. Brooks’ view is, as usual, myopic and avoids any mention of the pope’s involvement with the Argentinian Junta and the torture of two priests, that will haunt Jorge Mario Bergoglio, even as he pays homage to the saint of renunciation and service to the poor. Mr. Brooks’ worship of male power is perennial.