NEW YORK (RNS) — The morning after an event at Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture last week, theologian James K.A. Smith reviewed his against-the-odds attempt at convincing the crowd of the relevance of Augustine, the fourth-century Christian bishop and the subject of Smith’s latest book, “On the Road With Saint Augustine.”
Augustine, Smith said, has something to say to all of us, no matter our age — “Augustine is no respecter of generations,” he told Religion News Service. “There’s nothing new under the sun in a way.” Smith said he is skeptical of generational analysis and reiterated what he told the audience the night before: it’s not just the millennials or “kids these days” who are somehow uniquely a mess.
“I’m not a big fan of this notion that all of a sudden we sort of fell off a cliff,” said Smith. “If anything, I think Augustine calls into question the world the boomers gave us — which so fetishized freedom, autonomy, individuality.”