The soliloquy of the soul

London
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Publisher
London
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Published on
Dec 31, 1883
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Pages
183
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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THE IMITATION OF CHRIST

THOMAS À KEMPIS


 — The Timeless Classic, the most read book after the Bible!

 — Four Books in One

 — Includes a Foreword the Translators and Active Linked Endnotes

 — Includes an Active Index and Table of Contents for all Four Books and Layered NCX Navigation

 — Includes Paintings by 17th Century Artist, Guido Reni


Publisher: Available in Paperback:

ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-037-1


The Imitation of Christ is a cherished treasure of the Christian world and is the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible. Apart from the Bible no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ. It was first composed in Latin ca.1418-1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life. The text is divided into four books, which provide detailed spiritual instructions: "Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life", "Directives for the Interior Life", "On Interior Consolation" and "On the Blessed Sacrament". The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world. The book places a high level of emphasis on the devotion to the Eucharist as key element of spiritual life.


This great book was written by a Roman Catholic monk. "Written", perhaps, is not the proper word. It would be more appropriate to say that each letter of the book is marked deep with the heart's blood of the great soul who had renounced all for his love of Christ. That great soul whose words, living and burning, have cast such a spell for the last four hundred years over the hearts of myriads of men and women; whose influence today remains as strong as ever and is destined to endure for all time to come; before whose genius and spiritual effort, hundreds of crowned have bent down in reverence; and before whose matchless purity the jarring sects of Christendom, whose name is legion, have sunk their differences of centuries in common veneration to a common principle—that great soul, strange to say, has not thought fit to put his name to a book such as this. Posterity, however, has guessed that the author was Thomas à Kempis, a Roman Catholic monk. How far the guess is true is known only to God. But be he who he may, that he deserves the world's adoration is a truth that can be gainsaid by none.


Thomas Haemmerlein, also known as Thomas à Kempis, from his native town of Kempen, near the Rhine, about forty miles north of Cologne. Haemmerlein, who was born in 1379 or 1380, was a member of the order of the Brothers of Common Life, and spent the last seventy years of his life at Mount St. Agnes, a monastery of Augustinian canons in the diocese of Utrecht. Here he died on July 26, 1471, after an uneventful life spent in copying manuscripts, reading, and composing, and in the peaceful routine of monastic piety.


PUBLISHER: CATHOLIC WAY PUBLISHING


The Imitation of Christ has appeared in more editions and in more languages than any other book except the Bible. Samuel Johnson once remarked to Bowell that it “must be a good book, as the world has opened its arms to receive it.” Others have praised it as well, including Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, Thomas De Quincey, and Matthew Arnold. Among the religious, St. Ignatius Loyola translated it, and Pope John Paul I was said to have been reading it the night that he died. It has been standard fare in religious training and personal devotion for centuries. Yet today, few people know the Imitation and those who do more often than not think it hopelessly out of date, a pre-Vatican II relic, full of contempt for the world and self-loathing. It is a curious state of affairs, and one that reveals more about a contemporary audience's response to the book than it does about the book itself. When a contemporary reader encounters a line such as “this is the highest wisdom: through contempt of the world to aspire to the kingdom of heaven,” his response is a very different one from that of a fifteenth- or nineteenth-century reader. For an “uninformed response” (as Stanley Fish would say) to the contemptus mundi theme, the reader must draw deeply on a vast complex of literary, linguistic, historical, and theological knowledge. Creasy's translation of the Imitation strives to recreate a text that provides an analogous experience to that of the fifteenth-century reader. Relying heavily on reader-response theory, he incorporates an “informed reader's” response into the text itself. Where possible, the text echoes both the deep structure and the surface structure of the Latin—even to the point of replicating sentence structures and rhetorical devices while avoiding any distortion of the reader's experience. Although the language and style of his translation has been crafted for modern readers, the fervor and power of the original text have not been lost. This translation will undoubtedly bring The Imitation of Christ a new generation of readers.
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