The Imitation of Christ: A Spiritual Commentary and Reader's Guide

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9780870612343: The Imitation of Christ: A Spiritual Commentary and Reader's Guide

One of the best-loved spiritual classics of all time is now more accessible than ever. While many contemporary readers seek the richness of classical spirituality, some find the language and thought patterns of The Imitation of Christ distant and difficult to understand. Fr. Dennis Billy, noted teacher and spiritual guide, helps today's readers interpret The Imitation by raising their awareness of how the world of Thomas à Kempis colored and shaped his presentation of the spiritual life.

Using the accessible translation of The Imitation of Christ by William Creasy, Fr. Billy highlights how today's Christians can interpret and apply The Imitation to their own spiritual journeys. Each chapter is preceded by a brief introduction and followed by a set of thoughtful reflection questions that help readers understand and apply the text.

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About the Author:

Thomas à Kempis (1380–1471) was a medieval Dutch monk steeped in the mystical tradition of his time. A member of the Brothers of the Common Life, he was ordained a priest in 1413. His well-loved work, The Imitation of Christ, was written between 1420 and 1427 presumably as four booklets intended to instruct the novices of his community. It is one of Christian history’s best-known works on spiritual devotion. This small book sidesteps academic pretension to consider larger truths. “A poor peasant who serves God,” Thomas wrote, “is better than a proud philosopher who . . . ponders the courses of the stars.”
Father Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R., is a teacher, writer, and poet. Ordained a Redemptorist priest in 1980, he taught the history of moral theology and Christian spirituality at the Alphonsian Academy of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University for more than twenty years, reaching the rank of Ordinary Professor. In 2008 he was installed as the John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology as a scholar-in-residence at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He also serves as the Karl Rahner Professor of Catholic Theology at the Graduate Theological Foundation in Mishawaka, Indiana. Raised in Staten Island, New York, and educated there through high school in local Catholic schools, he graduated from Dartmouth College and went on to receive four master's degrees, as well as doctorates from Harvard University, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, and the Graduate Theological Foundation. Billy is the author of numerous books and articles, both popular and scholarly.

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