Augustine

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Saint Augustine of Hippo is the best known of four individuals known as "doctors of the Latin Church". Another, Saint Jerome, was instrumental in compiling one of the first Bibles. Their theological/ideological work contributed mightily to weakening a Roman Empire faced with bardarian threats and to suppression of other classical idea systems that plunged the Mediterranean world into the Dark Ages. For centuries the adherents of the early Church lived in anticipation of the end of the world, one that never came. Not only did Augustine and the other authorirarian Church Fathers suppress pagan religions and "heretical" Christian theologies but also Greek philosophy, science and engineering. The tragic result was that the humanity lost a thousand years of lost progress in philosophy, science and engineering.

Augustine was a convert to Christianity from Manicheism, and wrote a great deal about his conversion experience, about how to adapt Christian teaching to the "realities" of daily life, and in opposition to various heresies. His writings reveal him to have been anti-intellectual--he condemned the curiosity that deives all scientific research--and sexually repressed-his guilt about his early 'wild years' is plainly excessive. Unsurprisingly, he was an order obsessed theological conservative and his writings remain texts favored by order obsessed political conservatives.

His approach to the teaching of rhetoric differed from that of many of his predecessors in that he believed that to be effective, a speaker must be a good (ethical) person. His famous works include City of God and On Christian Doctrine. He became a Bishop of the Catholic Church (before it was called that) in North Africa during the Roman Empire when North Africa was, with Egypt, one of bread baskets of the Roman Empire.

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