Religion: The Second Founder of the Faith

Converted 1,600 years ago, St. Augustine still shapes church thought

The clever young North African was a teacher of rhetoric who, in his 32 years, had explored such fashionable beliefs as Manicheism and skepticism. Lately, living in Milan, he had been drawn intellectually toward Christianity through the preaching of Bishop Ambrose, but resisted full commitment, partly because of personal circumstances. He had fathered a son out of wedlock by one mistress and had recently begun living with another while he was waiting for the woman with whom he had arranged a social-climbing betrothal to reach marriageable age.

Though Aurelius Augustinus had won a bit of renown, he would surely be unknown...

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