AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (AD 354 430) is among the most influential cultural figures of all time. His development of Christian theology during the formative fourth and fifth centuries shaped church teaching for future generations. Ascending to influence as a teacher of rhetoric in Hippo, Rome, and Milan, Augustine initially embraced Manichean religion, and later came under the influence of Neoplatonism. In AD 387, however, his life dramatically changed direction with his conversion to Christianity. After conversion, he returned to his native North Africa, where he was ordained a priest and later made a bishop. As leader of the Church in Hippo, he preached widely and wrote voluminous biblical commentaries and apologetic works defending Christian faith against its rivals and detractors, along with more personal and pastoral works, such as Confessions.