Thomas a Kempis was a German medieval Christian monk who was born in the late 14th century. His work The Imitation of Christ is one of the most widely read Christian spiritual books ever written. The book presents the idea that the study of Christ's life and the emulation of his example is the highest pursuit that man can achieve. Kempis's The Imitation of Christ is a spiritual classic and a must read for any ardent follower of Christianity. Thomas van Kempen or Thomas a Kempis; (c. 1380 - 25 July 1471) was a can regular of the late medieval period and the author of The Imitation of Christ, which is one of the best kwn Christian books on devotion. His name means Thomas of Kempen, his hometown, and in German he is kwn as Thomas von Kempen. He also is kwn by various spellings of his family name: Thomas Haemerkken; Thomas Hammerlein; Thomas Hemerken and Thomas Hamerken. Cover photography by Paul Spremulli.