It is difficult to imagine that something written in the early 15th century could still have any import or agency today, but The Imitation of Christ, composed by Thomas a Kempis in the first half of the 1400s, has attained widespread publication and translation and is still considered required reading for devout Christians. What sets it apart from other works of that age is the approach taken by Kempis in how the reader should emulate his Christ; instead of going out and living as Christ lived, Kempis instructs that isolation and a withdrawn existence provides the necessary environment for contemplation and imitation.

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