A Book Review of Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ

Born in Germany around 1380 and died in the Netherlands in 1471, Thomas à Kempis is one of the most well known medieval Catholic devotional writers. His Imitation of Christ, composed in Latin in the Netherlands between 1420 and 1427 has become a classic favorite to many. Originally, the Imitation was written anonymously. Thomas probably did this in order to direct his readers’ attention to the subject of the book, rather than to himself as the author, as indicated in his advice to his readers about reading holy writings: “Do not let the writer’s authority or learning influence you, be it little or great, but let the love of pure truth attract you to read. Do not ask, ‘Who said this?’ but pay attention to what is said” (Book 1, Chap. 5).

 

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Book Review Thomas à Kempis