The importance of Augustine for Western Christianity cannot be over-estimated. 1 Born in Africa in 354, he spent almost half of his life as the bishop of the North African seaport, Hippo Regius (modern Annaba, Algeria). Here, drawing on his classical education, his former career as a rhetor, and his experience as a priest, preacher, teacher and pastor, he turned his brilliant mind, his persuasive and moving eloquence, and his deep devotion and love of God, to reflect on Christian faith and life for his congregation, and in the process almost singlehandedly transformed the Western Church into the one we recognise today. He preached over 8,000 sermons, which were recorded by scribes; he was the most prolific early Christian theologian, and more has been written on him than any other figure in the Western tradition (with the exception, perhaps, of Shakespeare!).