Thomas à Kempis (1379/1380–1471) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Thomas À Kempis(1379/1380–1471)

Thomas à Kempis, the writer on asceticism and probable author of The Imitation of Christ, was born in Kempen, near Düsseldorf, Germany. He belonged to the Brethren of the Common Life, a group that was much influenced by Jan van Ruysbroeck and whose organization centered on the Windesheim community. The major part of Thomas's life was spent at the Augustinian monastery of St. Agnes, near Zwolle.

Thomas's writings on the interior life and ways of practicing virtue are not philosophical or theoretical but are purely practical in intent. This is true also of The Imitation of Christ, about whose authorship there has been much dispute. It is not altogether certain that the work, really a set of four treatises, should be attributed to Thomas. The oldest manuscripts date from about 1422 and contain...

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This section contains 849 words
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Buy the Thomas à Kempis (1379/1380–1471) Encyclopedia Article
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Thomas à Kempis (1379/1380–1471) from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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