A-Z: General definitions: Father of the Church


Christian leaders and thinkers, living mostly between the end of the first century and the eighth century, whose writings (including biblical commentaries, sermons, histories, poetry and biography) were considered to carry particular authority. Key figures included St Ambrose (b. 340) who was Bishop of Milan (374-397), St Jerome (340/2-420) and St Augustine (b. 354), Bishop of Hippo in North Africa (396-430). The term can also refer more generally to the many churchmen who were deemed to be authoritative commentators on doctrinal, theological, liturgical and biblical matters between the first and twelfth centuries.

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