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The Imitation of Christ


Publisher writes

The Imitation of Christ is a passionate celebration of God's love, mercy and holiness, which has stimulated religious devotion for over five hundred years. With great personal conviction and deep humanity, Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471) demonstrates the individual's reliance on God and on the words of Christ, and the futility of a life without faith, as well as exploring the ideas such as humility, compassion, patience and tolerance.

Thomas spent some seventy years of his life in the reclusive environment of monasteries, yet in this astonishing work he demonstrates an encompassing understanding of human nature, while his writing speaks to readers of every age and every nation. 

Author Information

Thomas a. Kempis, (translated by Robert Jeffery), (introduction by Maximilian Von Habsburg)

Thomas a Kempis was born at Kempen near Dusseldorf in 1380. At thirteen he left the local grammar school to join his elder brother John, who had attached himself to the Congregation of the Common Life. In 1399 Thomas' mentor Florentius allowed him to travel to Zwolle to seek admission to the new monastery at Mount St Agnes. He was professed in 1406 and received the priesthood in 1413. Thomas wrote many other devotional works besides The Imitation of Christ, his masterpiece, as well as biographies of Gerald Groote and Florentius Radewyn. He died in 1471.

Judges' and contributors' comments

Cally Hammond: Not unlike Julian, this book is touching at any time, but at sensitive times, especially around vocation and the attempts to deepen a life of prayer, it can be absorbed into the spiritual mind-set of the reader.

Jenny Monds: A primer of the Christian life which has affected many, and been translated into more languages than any other book, apart from the Bible.  Admired by many prominent figures, including Sir Thomas More, St Ignatius and John Wesley.

Mark Oakley: A book that is realistic about the need for the converted to be more converted. It exposes human illusions but without making us disillusioned.

Reader comments

Bryan Gifford

12 October 2014 @ 07:38

Even for a tepid but persevering layman this work perhaps more suitable for monks,is something I have come back to time and time again over what is now a long life.

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