Saint Augustin

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Anyone who knows Garry Wills over the past 30 years is familiar with his interest in Saint Augustine. Writing a biography of someone like Augustine is not that easy – there is little information available except for Augustine's surviving writings. The successful biographer needs to base the available information, and a critical rereading of previous biographies, in our current understanding of the state of society at that time. Garry Wills succeeded greatly in that. Augustine lived in interesting times: Church doctrine was evolving while identifying heretical doctrines (e.g., Donatists); the Roman Empire was effectively split in two, with the Western capital moved from Rome to Ravenna; and (mainly) Christianized "barbarian" groups were taking over large sections of the Western Empire (Alaric's Goths captured Rome during Augustine's lifetime, and Augustine died near the end of the Vandal conquest of Roman Africa). Wills successfully places Augustine's life in context of these important events.
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