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4.7 out of 5 stars
135
4.7 out of 5 stars
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For those wishing to develop their Christian faith and to deepen their understanding of what it is meant to be truly Christ-like (a lofty and challenging aspiration in this 21st century) then this little book of Thomas A Kempis (1380 - 1471) may be for you. But be warned! This is not for the feeble or fickle or novice Catholic/Christian. Its ‘simplicity' will strip you of many preconceived (prideful) notions that you are leading a good life and that you are a good Christian (I suspect many will find this reality check a little too much to handle and will put this little book down after only reading the first couple of pages). A reminder that the path to Sainthood is never an easy path.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to take their Christian faith more seriously.
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on 4 March 2017
I agree with the publisher's blurb that this is the best translation from the original Latin - at least that I personally have come across.

Credit must be given not only to Ronald Knox, but also Michael Oakley. Knox was a long term devotee of The Imitation, so began to work on the translation with his engaging, passionate, poetic, very readable style, as befits the spiritual tone set by Thomas a-Kempis. However serious illness overtook, and it was his wish for classical scholar Michael Oakley to complete the translation for publication - by implication following seamlessly in the Knox style. According to the 1959 Foreward over half was rendered by Oakley, from chapter 5 of Book II onwards.

Books III and IV of The Imitation hold a particularly vibrant dynamic. A touching and disarming conversation between TAK the disciple and Christ ('The Learner' and 'The Beloved'). This type of spiritual writing has been termed interior locution - putting into words the feeling of what God is saying to the soul. It is there for instance in the 14th Century contemporary Julian of Norwich. It could also be termed 'the gift of prophecy' - cf. 1 Corinthians 12 etc. It can be found in many other Christian and spiritual publications, such as the 20th Century 'God Calling'.

For me the absolute purple patch of the whole work is Chapter 21 of Book III - outstanding. I have uploaded audio renditions of this to You Tube.

If you are looking for a good version of The Imitation, my advice is track down this benchmark Knox-Oakley. And bravo to Ignatius Press for republishing the formerly out of print Burns and Oates.
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on 26 October 2016
This book was like a second bible to me when I was younger. It reads like conversations and advice between you and Christ. Every Christian should really read this to deepen their journey. No regrets.
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on 22 April 2017
Given as gifts, friends were delighted with the gift.
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on 27 April 2017
I read this book many years back and a great spiritual book and now have a copy again.... it is a book you can read again and again at different chapters
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on 21 July 2017
This classic never fails to inspire. I had it when I was young and decided to revisit it. It is a devotional work of a spiritual nature. It is a personal experience. Never dates. Well worth the trouble to anyone who feels they want to read it.
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on 8 December 2016
This is in my top three books to read and re-read.
It is extremely thought provoking and I always pick up something new every time I read it (eight times) with many more re-reads!
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on 27 June 2017
Not read yet
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on 28 May 2017
Excellent, the binding could be looser for reading, but for the price it's great
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on 19 July 2017
Challenges the will and commitment to be Christ - like
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