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Augustine, (354-430) was the bishop of Hippo in North Africa and a Father of the Church. Born to a Christian mother and a pagan father, Augustine underwent a profound conversion experience at the age of 32, renouncing his life of sensuality and wordly ambition. Ordained a priest in 391 and made bishop in 396, Augustine was also a pioneer of monasticism and founded a religious rule that is still widely used by men and women in monastic life.
James O'Donnell is provost at Georgetown University and editor of the definitive edition of Augustine's Confessions. He is the author of Augustine: A New Biography (Ecco, 2005).