Most significant theologian of the West influenced by Paul, Cicero and Monica (his mother). Emphasized grace and election, confessions, own experience with original sin through pears. Became a Christian 3 yrs after Council @ Constantine and within 7 years he was bishop of Hippo – a struggling Catholic community. Wrote the City of God; battled with Donatism. Original sin: human beings, after the fall of Adam and Eve, permanently broken by sin. Baptism remits original sin, believers can then choose to do good, passed down sexually. Predestination.