Summary (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Both Catholic and Protestant leaders have regarded Saint Augustine as an originator of the doctrinal traditions of Western Christianity. He put the Church on a spiritual footing that enabled it to survive the fall of the Roman Empire and to endure through the ages. In addition, the explanatory power of his philosophical, historical, and literary writings has had immeasurable consequences. For example, he developed a developed a literary tradition that includes such poets as Dante, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Milton.