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Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Sir Thomas More, England’s famous lord chancellor under Henry VIII (and subject of the film A Man for All Seasons) said it was one of the three books everybody ought to own. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, read a chapter a day from it and regularly gave away copies as gifts. Methodist founder John Wesley said it was the best summary of the Christian life he had ever read.

They were talking about Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ, the devotional classic that has been translated into over 50 languages, in editions too numerous for scholars to keep track of (by 1779 there were already 1,800 editions).

Little is known of Thomas himself, and he is known for little else—although this one contribution to history seems to be enough. . .

Click here to read full article (READ PDF).


Mark Galli

Mark Galli, is former editor in chief of Christianity Today and author, most recently, of Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and holds an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was a Presbyterian pastor for ten years, changed his denominational affiliation to the Anglican Church in North America. He converted to Catholicism in 2020.

 

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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