Augustine [of Hippo] knew the power and the danger of idolatry and celebrity. And he knew the danger of both was first to permit the idolater to offload the duty of thinking onto their idol. And second to seduce the celebrity, in turn, into thinking his fans have nothing insightful to say. That treatment of a fellow human, a fellow christian, would be not the achievement of theology but the avoidance of it. And he went out of his way in his life and in his words to forestall such approaches.
Examine the paradoxical life of Augustine: Who was he? Why is he such an important historical figure? You'll be surprised that much of what we may associate with him, such as his metaphysical dualism and his antidemocratic adherence to Church law, is mistaken. Here, you'll uncover the real Augustine-and find a man not so unlike ourselves.
A bit of his life and times. Discussion of the Donatist controversy, and the Pelagian controversy. There’s also an interesting passage on thinking and fame around 22:30 in the lecture.
There’s some interesting subtext of the ideas of the “stream and the garden” here in thinking about Augustine in his own time versus what has crystalized for us now in the present.