The Imitation of Christ is a book most likely written by the fifteenth century theologian Thomas à Kempis. It was written as a sort of spiritual self-help book, and is now considered one of the pillars of Christian theology.
Thomas à Kempis (c.1380-1471) was born in Kempen in the Lower Rhine District of what is now Germany. He became a monk in 1406 in the Mount St. Agnes monastery, where his brother was prior.
Although The Imitation of Christ was written anonymously, most people agree that Thomas à Kempis was its author. The idea of imitating Christ is a popular one that exists to this day (think of the bumper-sticker phrase 'What Would Jesus Do?'). The book advocates withdrawal, poverty, and concentration on the inner spiritual life as opposed to the outward material world. In Catholic Christianity, it is the second most widely read book after the Bible.