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Special Topic: Augustine of Hippo and his Times - 20 credits (RTT312)

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) is a key figure of Late Antiquity and its reception until today. His ‘Confessions’ are still widely read as a Christian classic. But this bishop and theologian was not baptised until he was 33 years old. For most of his young adult life he was a Manichaean, and Manichaeism exerted its influence on him even after his conversion. Born in a small town in today’s Algeria and educated in Carthage (in what is now Tunisia). he became a star rhetorician, lecturing on rhetoric in Rome before being appointed professor of rhetoric at the imperial court in Milan. He left his career to become a Christian ascetic and later became bishop of Hippo (a coastal city in today’s Algeria). He left an enormous literary oeuvre (rhetorical, philosophical, exegetical and theological works, letters and sermons) and an intellectual legacy the impact of which can still be felt today. This module aims at opening up some of the aspects of Augustine’s life, thought, works and times, and enabling students to embark on a specialist study on a relevant topic.