On the contribution of St. Augustine to the spiritual and intellectual history of the West, the great Yale patristic scholar Jaroslav Pelikan said:

In Augustine of Hippo Western Christianity found its most influential spokesman, and the doctrine of grace its most articulate interpreter. It has been said that although he may not have been the greatest of Latin writers, he was almost certainly the greatest man who ever wrote Latin. In any history of philosophy he must figure prominently; no history of post-classical Latin literature would be complete without a chapter on him; and there is probably no Christian theologian — Eastern or Western, ancient or medieval or modern, heretical or orthodox — whose historical influence can match his. Any theologian who would have written the Confessions or the City of God or On the Trinity would have to be counted a major figure in intellectual history. Augustine wrote them all, and vastly more. He was a universal genius.