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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2007
Outside of the Bible, this is the timeless heart of the Christian message. This was not written for priests or holy orders, but for those of us living in the world, coping with the pressures, battling with sin and temptation, holding down jobs and so on. And yet, it is a forthright rejection of our world and its temporal gods. This translation by Leo Shirley-Price is the best. It is a book you could sometimes hurl across the room in your frustration and weakness, but you will never find a passage or page that does not respond directly to your spiritual need. This is the narrow way that Jesus taught, laid out in the simplest language. There is no ambiguity here for those who prefer a more comfortable faith. It asks that you turn your back with contempt on worldly honours, wealth and power, and become, in all humility and as Thomas a Kempis says: one of the "few lovers of the Cross of Jesus". And it asks you to accept and embrace suffering if that is the result. Thomas of Kempen remains, even after 600 years, a spiritual director everyone can have access to, through this life-changing, Christian classic.
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on 8 May 2014
As with most literature, I stumbled upon the imitation of Christ; which was surprising as some people put it second only to the Holy bible and I can understand why after reading this superb book.

Thomas A Kempis (1380 - 1471) spent 70 years a recluse in Monasteries and yet his passionate words of wisdom are just as valid today as they were then. This book has been renewing and reviving the faith in God for over 500 years now and it is a powerful work.

This book is filled with homespun wisdom, remove God and Jesus and we have a great work of philosophy, so please, if you are not religious, do not allow this work to stop your reading.

It has a cure for anxiety, turn away from consumerism. Overcome fear of death, name calling, pride, intellectualism. This book advocates turning away from material things, work hard, study hard, but care not about the opinions of others or looking clever.

Devote yourself to the spiritual, grow spiritually by reading and learning, work hard at modest and humble work and be judged by your actions, not your bank balance. An excellent read for our current difficult times.
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on 17 June 2012
Hardly my place to add to all the scholarly reviews and analysis of this work, but it is a classic book on how to live the Christian life. Despite being written ~600 years ago, it remains as relevant today as it has always been.
The translation by Leo Sherley-Price (1952) is faithful to the original Latin and still accessible today.
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on 13 February 2006
a true classic. I have read it a number of times and always find something new that I missed before. Very good devotional which will inspire.
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on 9 June 2012
A wonderful read. Recommended by none other than St Therese of Lisieux!!

It contains fabulous insights and deep meditations on the teachings of Jesus, as well as the Church Fathers, back to the time of the early Catholic Church - the time of the Apostles.

There is also some extremely helpful prayers before confession; some of which can be read verbatim in the Confessional, leading to a thorough examination of conscience and good confession.

Reading this book will definitely help your spiritual growth and understanding of your part in your salvation.

Not to be missed.
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on 20 April 2002
This book is a thought-provoking exploration on man's relationship with God. It offers no simple answers, but is a meditation upon the path we must tread if we wish to achieve spiritual fulfilment in the world via the life and guidance of Jesus' teachings. Written a number of centuries ago it still has much relevance for any wishing to truly live in Christ, but be warned this is not a quick-fix guide.
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on 14 May 2010
Brilliant, it has something for everyone both religious and lay. It can be used over and over again, when ever you have doubts and need some reassurance you can find just what you need in the special index at the back of the book. The zipped cover adds that little bit of class, but I feel it would be better if the zip opened from bottom to top. This book would make a great present too for either religious or lay people, I will certainly be giving it a lot of use.
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on 28 December 2016
Zippered cover edition. Brilliant. Should be read by everyone and included in school teaching curriculum.

The actual physical book is good quality, nice paper, good cover, sewn binding. There are some nice pictures as well through out the book. This is the translation from Richard Challoner. The language for me is perfect here because it gives so much depth to what is being said, it is not something that can be skimmed through or read like a novel, it has to be read slowly. There are other translations in a more modern English which can be read more like a novel - I read these as well as they can add some detail or a different perspective.

Please note that I am referring to the red covered zippered edition here. I also ordered the same version for my Kindle but the Kindle edition is different, a more modern version. All the reviews of this book are mixed up, when someone has sent in a review it seems to be used for all versions of the text so please double check what you are looking at.

So if you want a copy of the Imitation of Christ in a nice binding, hard wearing and portable to carry anywhere, in slightly older language to express the beauty and depth of meaning then here it is.

Highly recommended.
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on 11 May 2013
This brilliant book was intended for the use of monks and nuns in their meditations, but lay people everywhere - Catholic and Protestant - have found it a great help as well. It is a marvellous introduction to the essence of Christianity. If our leaders, including Church leaders, read it every day and meditated on it, the world would be a better place. The chapters are bite-sized you could read one easily just before turning out the bedside light. For the non-Christian who is curious about the Faith, it could be a very helpful introduction, explaining why Chritians believe that or that, and what they are supposed to do. The meditation on death, which is now almost a taboo subject in society, is particularly good.
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on 19 February 2015
The perfect size for carrying about in your pocket and its a better quality than I was expecting. The print size is not as small as some others on here have indicated. I can read the print without using my +1.5 reading glasses so most people will have no trouble with it. Some of the words have gone out of common usage so it useful to keep a dictionary to hand just to clarify what is being said. However I quickly got used to the style and after a while you don't notice it as the content has a huge impact. If you have to choose 3 books to read I would choose the Bible first then this book and the Cloud of Unknowing. Living it; well thats where life gets interesting.
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