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The Imitation of Christ

Thomas à Kempis


The Imitation of Christ is a Christian devotional book dating to the early 15th century, originally written anonymously but popularly attributed to Thomas à Kempis. A popular piece of religious literature since it was first circulated, the Imitation is divided into four books that instruct the reader to forego worldly goods, to follow Christ, and to receive the sacrament of Communion, all in order to attain spiritual peace. Admired by numerous Christian theologians and mystics throughout the course of centuries, it is today considered to be the most-read Christian devotional work besides the Bible, going through over 745 printings before 1650. The Imitation even found an audience in India with the 19th-century Hindu philosopher-monk Ramakrishna, who cherished it along with the Bhagavad Gita as one of his favorite books.

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