The Imitation Of Christ: How Jesus Wants Us To Live

Hardcover | November 21, 2000

byThomas A. Kempis

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The Imitation of Christ is the work of at least three men: Gerard Groote, Florent Radewijns, and Thomas a Kempis. The first two were founders of the Brethren of the Common Life, a lay religious society that flourished in the Netherlands from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Working on their manuscripts, first as a compiler and editor and then as a coauthor, was Kempis.

So successful were Kempis's efforts that the work became the golden treasury not only of their community but also of the contemporary spirituality movement known as the Modern Devotion. Its prescriptions might very well be known as the Perennial Devotion for its continual appeal through the centuries.

In its fifteenth century Latin original the Imitation was not a silken cord of consecutive prose. Rather it was a series of scratchings, the sort that a spiritual director would note down in preparation for sermons and addresses. What wasn't always in the original was exactly how Kempis developed each topic sentence or wisdom quotation as he delivered it.

In this new rendition William Griffin recovers the original experience of listening to Kempis as he taught and preached to his spiritual charges. Using a variety of literary and historical means, Griffin enhances the original, making the insights of this seminal exposition of Christian life more accessible.

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From the Publisher

The Imitation of Christ is the work of at least three men: Gerard Groote, Florent Radewijns, and Thomas a Kempis. The first two were founders of the Brethren of the Common Life, a lay religious society that flourished in the Netherlands from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Working on their manuscripts, first as a compiler and ...

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.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 7.38 × 5.5 × 1.09 inPublished:November 21, 2000Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060634006

ISBN - 13:9780060634001

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Editorial Reviews

"I cannot recall when an inspired translation has so effectively converted a timeless classic into an idiom that goes straight to my modern bones." --Huston Smith, author, "The World's Religions"William Griffin's translation is a resurrection! So alive, so redolent with wit, so supple and lithe! Reading this "Imitation, we know immediately why for so many generations it's topped the bestseller lists in spiritual reading. I've been using Ronald Knox's translation for thirty years'and I'm ready now to trade it in for the Griffin translation."--Eugene Peterson, translator, "The Message; professor emeritus, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada"Through centuries of spiritual-life writing, scarce few books have been more beloved than "The Imitation of Christ. But its words seem increasingly archaic to our modern sensibilities. William Griffin's masterful rendering will go far in helping new generations of readers discover the attractions of this ancient classic. His decidedly daring translation allows the "Imitation once again to brim with light-hearted energy and life-changing insight. There's not a stuffy moment in it."--Timothy Jones, author, "Awake My Soul and "The Art of Prayer"An astonishingly fresh translation of the great spiritual classic that has been shrouded in deadly piety far too long. So daring and playful and passionate--keep it close and read it slow." -- Coleman Barks, translator of "The Essential Rumi"As I began cheering wildly after reading the last page of the galleys, the woodpeckers started pecking, the swallows started swallowing and the Mississippi River started rippling: cosmic applause for this magnificent modern rendering of "The Imitation of Christ. Bill Griffin hasgiven an invaluable gift to the Body of Christ."--Brennan Manning, author of "Ruthless Trust"Reading the manuscript of Bill Griffin's revival of "The Imitation of Christ was sheer enjoyment. I could never imagine how anyone could put that masterpiece into a modern idiom. But, Bill accomplished the impossible and with humor and tongue in cheek all throughout. I could tell he was enjoying the task immensely, because it shows in the lightness of the read and the clarity of the thought. I am sure it will widely read and for a long time."--Fr. Joseph Girzone, author of "Joshua"Like Griffin I had read the "Imitatio" 50 years ago as a Jesuit novice, and when I got some distance from novice fervor, I wondered why everyone thought it a spiritual classic. Now I know why. This translation is a gem. It brings out the fresh, down-to-earth, straight-from-the-shoulder wisdom of the author. Thomas a Kempis once again can engage his readers to pull them into serious reflection on the fundamental issues of the spiritual life, indeed of life itself. A classic has been given a translation it deserves."--Fr. William Barry, author, "The Practice of Spiritual Direction"William Griffin's version of "The Imitation allows it to strike you in the face, as it must if one is to get its point. Any imitation of Christ that is not shocking is not an imitation of Christ. This is an invaluable supplement to the spiritual library that "The Imitation has now become." --Dallas Willard, author of "The Divine Conspiracy"Colloquial, savory, practical, astringent, and earthy are words that came to mind as I turned these pages. Latinist Bill Griffin's penetrating, acerbic intelligence serves him well in his new redering of thisChristian classic."--Luci Shaw, writer in residence, Regent College, author of "The Angles of Light"In this fresh translation of "The Imitation of Christ, William Griffin, a Christian man of letters and of wit, breathes life and passion into a devotional classic that has already touched millions of people deeply across the centuries." --Fisher Humphreys, Professor of Divinity, Samford University""Tole, lege!Here is a new gate to an ancient garden.All is made new here!Even the path has been refurbished.Yet it still amblesthrough the lenten lands of lush renewal.And best of all, above this old familiar Eden stands JesusCrying come and becloned in my likenessSo you will matterIn my world."--Calvin Miller, author of "The Singer