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Imitation of Christ (Foundations of Faith) [Paperback]

By Thomas A. Kempis (Author)
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Item description for Imitation of Christ (Foundations of Faith) by Thomas A. Kempis...

A profoundly influential masterpiece from 15th-century mystic Thomas á Kempis, The Imitation of Christ still resonates today. Deeply honest, spiritually challenging and often uncomfortably blunt, it calls believers away from materialism and self-absorption and toward a full-on commitment to the core of the Christian faith: living like Jesus. No wonder it's considered to be history's most-read Christian text apart from the Bible.

Publishers Description
In the past few hundred years, some great Christian thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries have penned works of literature that continue to influence Christians today. Rediscover the cornerstone of the Christian faith with this classic work from one of the most influential Christian thought leaders.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Relevant Books
Pages   5
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 4.25" Height: 6.75"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2006
Publisher   CHARISMA HOUSE #135
Series  Foundations Of Faith  
Series Number  2  
ISBN  0977616711  
ISBN13  9780977616718  

Availability  0 units.

More About Thomas A. Kempis

Thomas A. Kempis Thomas a Kempis (ca. 1380-1471) was an Augustinian monk in the Netherlands during the pre-Reformation period.
Carl Anderson is the Supreme Knight and chief executive officer of the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization with more than 1.7 million members. He is the author of "Called to Love, " "Our Lady of Guadalupe, " and the "New York Times" bestseller" A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World.""

Thomas A. Kempis was born in 1380 and died in 1471.

Thomas A. Kempis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher
  2. Catholic Classics (Paperback)
  3. Classic Wisdom Collection
  4. Dover Thrift Editions
  5. Faith Classics
  6. Great Ideas
  7. Hendrickson Christian Classics
  8. Image Classic
  9. Mystics
  10. Paraclete Essentials
  11. Penguin Classics
  12. Upper Room Spiritual Classics Series 2

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( T ) > Thomas a' Kempis
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Imitation of Christ (Foundations of Faith)?

A Catholic or Christian Classic  Apr 26, 2010
A great book on how to transform ourselves into being more Christlike. Most protestants I run into dont know about this book and are thoroughly impressed with it even though they may have an aversion to all things Catholic. Makes a great gift. I have purchased about 4-5 different versions. Some versions or translations are more recommended than others, obviously searching for a more modern version without thees, thous is to be recommended. This particular version although with modern English references King James Vers bible quotes with thees and thous. Good and Bad.
Low rating for Amazon editions not book itself  Feb 9, 2010
It seems to be impossible to know which translation or edition one is getting from this site, especially in the downloads for Kindle. I've downloaded one version of Imitation of Christ from a different this site web page (associated with a different print version of the text) onto my Kindle. and this is the translation of the beginning of the text as I have it in the Kindle download I bought:

"He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, saith the Lord. These are the words of Christ, and they teach us how far we must imitate His life and character, if we seek true illumination, and deliverance from all blindness of heart. Let it be our most earnest study, therefore, to dwell upon the life of Jesus Christ."

I want a modern language version of the Imitation, and the preview of the printed version associated with the current page has this translation:

"He who follows me, says Christ our Saviour, walks not in darkness, for he will have the light of life. Thes are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by them we admonished to follow His teachings and His manner of living, if we would truly be enlightened and delivered from all blindness of heart. Let all the study of our heart be from now on to have our meditation fixed wholly on the life of Christ."

That's an ok translation (and it's the same as the one used by Project Gutenberg), but it's not what I got when I downloaded the sample from the Kindle version on this page, I just got -- instead the sample Is the same translation, though NOT strangely enough the same version; in this Kindle sample the footnotes work, and the biblical quotations are italicized (neither of these is true of the full version I downloaded).

I really wish that this site were more respectful of the variations of texts, and allowed readers to know which translation and edition is being offered on each web site. Yuck for this site.
A true spiritual classic  Feb 6, 2010
"Imitation of Christ" is one of the most widely read Christian spiritual works of all time. In the Middle Ages only the Bible had a wider readership. After you start reading it, it becomes immediately obvious why this would be the case: its approachable style and the perennial good advice that emanates from its every page make this an incredibly readable and inspiring book. The book is not strictly speaking an invitation for modeling one's life on particular historical events in the life of Jesus. This is no "What Would Jesus Do" manual. Rather, it's a distillation of the wisdom and teachings of Christianity as presented primarily in the Bible and the early Church Fathers. The result is a fascinating work of spiritual insight that has proven to have timeless practical relevance to the lives of Christians throughout the centuries.

The book also places a strong emphasis on growing one's faith within the Church. The last part of the book is almost entirely dedicated to the veneration and reflection on the Eucharist. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a diminishing appreciation of Church's sacramental gifts, even within Christian communities that had traditionally placed a great emphasis on this particular way of getting closer to Christ. Hopefully reading this book may rekindle some of that appreciation in a reader who has not thought about it much lately.

This digital edition of the book brings it to the twenty-first century. I find it very convenient to have a spiritual book like this one accessible from the variety of electronic devices. That way I can turn to it whenever I have a need for some words of spiritual guidance and wisdom.

The only issue that I have with this edition of the book is its unnecessarily archaic translation. All the "thee"s and "thou"s may make one more cognizant of the venerable age of this work, but with modern readers this feature may prove too distracting. This book is written in an extremely straightforward style that should be made more accessible to the modern reader.

Whatever your Christian tradition may be, you will take a lot from this insightful and inspirational book. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in deepening their spiritual life.
What has changed over the past 600+ years  Oct 17, 2009
This author shares to a great extent the things he observed (and had done)back in the 1400's. If we look at where we are and what we do today, not much has changed. Thomas during his life as a monk had every opportunity to live a Christ liven life and he indeed appears to be close to Jesus. Today, although we have TV, internet, etc. - it seems to be tough just to become part of what the author discusses. Other than the Bible, this is a must read for both Catholic and Protasant.
Quiet & Introspective : An Underappreciated Classic  Aug 14, 2009
Is "The Imitation of Christ" the greatest book ever written? Quite possibly.

"The Imitation of Christ" to me, is everything the Bible would like to be - crisp, clear, inward, simple, and rich with message rather than parables. This immediate difference is admirable, though of course this book is steeped in Biblical teachings and completely relies upon the Bible for its' understanding of Christ and his message. What the author perhaps was unaware of is that this book works as a Guide for practicing the absolutely simple lessons of the Bible - and for anyone who has ever found themselves overwhelmed with the sheer details within the Bible (eg. someone who has toiled through sections of the Bible just to find a particular message or possible meaning) this book is the perfect solution.

That said, the book also works as a non-Christian spiritual guide, which is why I am recommending it for readers who aren't quite taken by Christianity, and especially to readers who are disillusioned by the Bible as a concept. "The Imitation of Christ", on this front, works as a spiritual work that transcends religion - one that deals with day-to-day behavioral issues and how to streamline one's thought processes so that one is in harmony with nature, and how to work towards peace and normalcy in ones' life. Perhaps this is why this book has resonated with so many readers around the world - but on some level still remains an unknown artifact even within the literary community.

The division of sections is particularly helpful, and the simplistic language masks nothing - this is a work where what you see is what you get, and there are no double meanings to sift through, nothing especially philosophical to ponder about. This 'meat and potatoes' approach to spirituality is something that one appreciates, especially if one cannot fathom some of the more fantastical elements of the Bible. To be more specific, parts of this book have been divided into almost quaint chapters named "Having a Humble Opinion of Self", "Monastic Life", and my personal favorite, and quite possibly the best chapter in the entire book - "The Love of Solitude and Silence".

Considering the person who wrote this book was a meditative and deeply spiritual person, the language used is loving, not at all too religious, and hardly preachy. Its almost as if a kind mother talking to her child and passing on her life's learnings in a very soft and gentle manner - something that is all too rare in the spiritual literature section these days. Consider, for example, the great truth in this passage:

"Very many great saints avoided the company of men wherever possible and chose to serve God in retirement. "As often as I have been among men," said one writer, "I have returned less a man." We often find this to be true when we take part in long conversations. It is easier to be silent altogether than not to speak too much. To stay at home is easier than to be sufficiently on guard while away."

But perhaps the greatest meditations come in the passage entitled "Ourselves", where the author speaks, almost with nostalgic wisdom, upon the self and ones' responsibility toward it. The mesmerizing words here could be from any religion, but as I had reaffirmed earlier, the texts are wholly spiritual in nature:

"We must not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light, and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile we do wrong, and then do worse in excusing it. At times we are moved by passion, and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes, and overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others, but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us. If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgment on others."

"The Imitation of Christ" is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is boring. Even the most jaded reader will find something here that is of worth, and for the more developed or even academic reader, the words here will appear bare and stark upon first reading, but in their humility lies great truths. There is nothing here that hasn't been discussed or talked about, but the freshness of vision, and the clarity of thought, makes you forget that this book is actually hundreds of years old. If anything, this is clearly one of the greatest books ever written, primarily because its words are implementable, relatable, and will make sense in any era, epoch or time, be it now, or fifty years from now. In that sense, it is most assuredly 'timeless'.

Five Stars. A Masterpiece of Religious Literature, and one of the most important books ever published.

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