A beautifully produced gift edition of Thomas a Kempis's The Imitation of Christ
, newly translated by William Griffin (a noted expert on C.S. Lewis) renders this timeless classic in a contemporary idiom. Imitation
consists of four sections that deliver exactly what they promise: "The Spiritual Life: What It Is & How It Works," "The Interior Life: Where It Is & How to Find It," "Internal Consolation: How Jesus Describes It & How the Soul Experiences It," and "The Sacrament of the Altar: How to Prepare for It & What It Tastes Like." Richard Foster, in his introduction to this edition, observes that Griffin's translation abandons the smoothly spiritualized serenity of earlier English versions. Instead, Griffin renders Imitation
in "the gusts and grunts and hiccups and heehaws of the common fun of the earth" (a phrase borrowed from the poet Dylan Thomas). Foster is right; there is lots of funny stuff here and lots of raw emotion: "All-nighters of roister-doistery lead only to mornings of hugger-muggery, that's to say, of sickness and sadness." Maybe you've never considered the intimate connection between roister- doistery and hugger-muggery before. You will now, and you'll be better for it.
About the Author
Thomas à Kempis (1379/80-1471) was a member of the Brethren, priest, Augustinian monk, author of a dozen books, and copyist extraordinaire. He lived at and was a member of the Windesheim congregation at Agneitenberg monastery in the Netherlands for more than seventy years.