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Saint Augustine

A towering figure in the early history of what would become the Catholic Church, St. Augustine, known in his day as Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, championed the ascetic life because he discerned a relationship between material wealth and spiritual closeness to God. He was first and foremost an intellectual, absorbing the Latin and Greek classics. Augustine secured his fame primarily as a writer, and in this capacity, he sought to reconcile pagan thought—particularly the philosophy of Greece—with Christian theology. Throughout much of his life, he thought of himself as a Roman and was proud of his citizenship. In young adulthood, he practiced a variant of Christianity that he came to regard as heresy. When he finally converted to Christianity, he soon found that, despite his ...

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