Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Augustine of Hippo

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_582-1

Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) is a towering figure in the history of Western moral, social, political, and legal thought. He was arguably the most influential writer in the West for more than a thousand years after his death. His ideas have remained foundational for Western thinking about law and society.

Introduction: Biography and Intellectual Development

Augustine was born in Thagaste, in modern-day Algeria, and as a young man spent a formative period in Carthage and then in Rome and Milan, before returning to North Africa where he became the bishop of Hippo Regius (now the city of Annaba, Algeria). He is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.

Augustine was a prolific writer; he converted to Christianity at the age of 31 and, although none of his writings from before his conversion survive, he lived for another 44 years, writing over 100 works, including philosophical dialogues, theological treatises, anti-heretical...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religious StudiesUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gianfrancesco Zanetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LawUniversità degli Studi di Modena e Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly