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The Imitation of Christ (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – September 18, 2003
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The Thomas à Kempis fan club includes St. Ignatius, Thomas Merton, Thomas More, and even Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. (She reads a chapter of The Imitation of Christ every night before sleep.) Imitation has exerted immense influence on Christian worship, ethics, and church structure, because it gives specific yet broad-minded guidance about the central task of Christian life--learning to live like Jesus. Better to read this book a little here and there, now and then, than to try gobbling it cover to cover. Imitation is no triumph of orderly thinking, but it's a great monument and incentive to deep living. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This classic has drawn thousands of readers down the ages, including Henry VIII's chancellor Thomas More, John Wesley, Irish patriot Daniel O'Connell and St Ignatius of Loyola, who reputedly would offer the book as a gift to acquaintances. Not surprisingly for such a timeless, readable and profound work, it still has many fans. The author, born in Germany and later a monk at Mount St Agnes, Zwolle, made a copy of the Bible as well as writing three other devotional works. He died in 1471. This book is remarkably contemporary in translation, losing none of its simplicity and profoundity. In a chapter on 'despising the world's honours', for example, 'God' advises: 'My son, don't feel down in the dumps when you see others being promoted ... raise your heart to me in heaven and the disdain the world shows you will no longer grieve you.' This edition, part of a series of resurrected spiritual classics and nicely presented in paperback, makes an ideal gift. (Kirkus UK) --(Kirkus UK) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was very pleased to see these new leather zip-cover versions, as I've gone through a couple soft cover versions with daily wear and tear, in and out of the backpack, etc. There are two versions in these similar covers, two different translations by two seperate publishers. The one pictured here is my personal favorite, published by TAN, it is the same trusted and true old translation that is found in the beloved old 'Confraternity of the Precious Blood' versions.... that familiar little blue soft-covered version with stunning b&w detailed pictures to meditate upon as you read. This version was originally translated from Latin by Richard Challoner D.D., and is more true to the original translation. Though it is written in an older style of proper English, it is easy enough for most people to comprehend, and the older writing style has much artistic, poetic charm that is often times lost in some of the newer 'up-to-date' English translations. Remember, this is the second most translated and published book in history next to the Holy Bible! The other new leather zip-cover version available now looks nearly identical to this, but rather than a Cross on the front cover, it has a 'Chi Ro' design and omits the authors' name. This version, equally impressive, is put out by the Catholic Book Publishing Co., and is the same translation (edited by Clare L.Fitzpatrick) that is available in the small red hardcover version that is quite popular by the same publisher. This too is an excellent version, but the translation is much more modern and more readable by the everyday layperson, or anyone who wishes to hear this timeless wisdom in a more easily accessible version without the 'thee's, thou's, and shall's" of the aforementioned version. It's personal preference, example...
first line of the TAN version = "He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness," ..... as opposed to the CBPC's version, "No one who follows Me will ever walk in darkness." (John 8:12).
~But, to be truly enlightened and touched by these timeless words of wisdom of the Spiritual Life, I reccommend buying both versions, and absorbing both as to get a better understanding of these holy and guiding words. There are those who may say that A' Kempis's writings are 'not for everyone', as most of his writings were written to give guidance to the young novitiates of his monastic order where he served as Novice Master for a time, but please do not let that turn you away from the holy and life changing power of his spiritually uplifting direction that still speaks to many today. If you have any call to any form of holiness, or just want to enhance and reinvigorate your daily spiritual life, there is no way that you can go wrong with Thomas A 'Kempis and this, his most well known and loved body of work.
The benefit of reading it is not so much that I learn new information but that it seems to work on the reader's mind in a subtle way, so that if one opens the book feeling agitated about the details of his or her complicated life, after a chapter or two one is reminded that life is something deeper than those trivial details. After twenty minutes of reading I often forget completely whatever thought was troubling me and feel calmer and more clearly motivated to focus on what really matters in life and let everything else take its own natural course.
The author makes occasional mention of a secret level of spiritual instruction that is given to only a select few. Although it's interesting to speculate about what type of instruction the author refers to, don't hope for this book to divulge too much about its contents. The author stays focused on the main topic of how to structure ones outer life to facilitate development of the inner life.
Amazon is NOT clear on the version of the book you are purchasing; when on the DOVER VERSION in amazon, purchases made in the paperback mode provide the specific version I wanted; but also wanting the Kindle version it showed it was available in that version. However, once you choose the Kindle version, it brings you to another screen where the cover is different. I did no pick up that subtlety initially and purchased via ebook what I though I purchased in paperback form. They should not show the Dover Version with a choice of Kindle version unless the Dover Version is what is being delivered to my Kindle. BAD AMAZON!