Western Civilization lesson 80

What was the significance of St. Augustine in Christian history?

Perhaps the most famous autobiography ever written in Western civilization was “the Confessions”, written by St. Augustine of Hippo. The manuscript demonstrated how God followed and helped the Saint throughout his entire life. Its pages tell the story of how Augustine began his Christian career not as a Christian at all but as a constantly changing member of many different Ancient Roman philosophies. After transitioning no less than four times to a different belief system, he finally realized that no philosophy but one would ever be able to answer his questions—and thus he became a Christian. Finally satisfied, he began to preach about the faults within other religions and philosophies until his audiences converted as well. He became one of the greatest theologians of the Roman Empire. One of his most famous recorded sayings is that “Evil is merely the absence of good.” Though the autobiography itself was not the cause of St. Augustine’s fame—what it recorded was his legacy—without his writings we would never know quite the significance of his place in Christian history.

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