Thomas à Kempis

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The late Middle Ages have often been described as a time of general moral and ethical decline, and especially as a time of anti-clericalism, hence also of widespread secularization, which ultimately led, as a counter-reaction, to the Protestant Reformation in 1517. In reality, however, there were many religious reform movements underway already since the late fourteenth century, most famously the Devotio moderna, initiated and deeply influenced by Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), Geert Groote (1340-1384) and Thomas a Kempis, who all aimed for a new form of spiritual, individualized piety, closely related to, but not to be confused with, medieval mysticism. They insisted on a simple life style (simplicitas Christianismi) …

1445 words

Citation: Classen, Albrecht. "Thomas à Kempis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 January 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2, accessed 06 February 2023.]

2 Thomas à Kempis 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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