Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Circle of Love: Praying with Rublev's Icon of the Trinity Paperback – 1 Mar 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

All Amazon Original Books on Sale
Browse a selection of over 160+ Kindle Books currently on sale. Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship) (1 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841017507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841017501
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 0.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description


'Icons begin in love and end in love. With simplicity, humility and reverence, Ann Persson draws us into the circle of love that is Rublev's great icon of the Trinity. This is no abstract study - she uses the ordinary circumstances of her own life to enter deeper into prayer.' Sister Wendy Beckett From The Church Times - January 2011 The most important page of this book is the front cover. The icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev, painted in about 1410, is probably the most recognised icon to Western Christian eyes. The printed page can never reproduce the luminous quality of icons, but it is good to have a clear reproduction of a decent size here. The reader needs to spend a while gazing at the cover before opening this book - and return to it fre quently while reading the text. The author had an eye operation some years ago, and had to remain completely immobile for a fortnight afterwards. Rather than lie face down looking at nothing in particular, she spent her time of enforced stillness looking at a reproduction of the Rublev icon, and this book is the fruit of that. The book begins with an intro duction to the idea of the visual in Christianity, and the place that art has in awakening spiritual sensibil ities. That place has had a far-from-stable history, and the history of the Church has been marked by times when more austere voices have pre vailed, who have been suspicious of the seductive powers of art. In time, however, culminating in the second Council of Nicaea in 787, icons came to be accepted as things not to be worshipped (that belongs to God alone), but venerated. The icon was not intended to be an object of beauty or a means of instruction, but a 'window opening on to the divine'. There is a laborious process in volved in the production of an icon, and this is described in detail. Ann Persson then tells of the trip that she and a friend took to the Tretya kov Gallery, in Moscow, where Rub lev's icon now hangs, and other places associated with the artist. The icon's subject is the three angels described in the scene of the hospitality of Abraham in Genesis 18. Unlike other icons of this subject, Abraham and Sarah are not to be seen, and the viewer's attention is focused on the three angelic beings. The mathematically sophisticated composition draws us in, and the viewer comes to realise that there is a space at front of the icon - a space for us. The icon is an invitation to enter into that mutual exchange of love which is the Holy Trinity. From this, the hope is that the viewer is sent back into the world, looking at it and being in it in a different way. The Circle of Love tells the story of one person's discovery of the history of one of the most famous icons. It also tells the story of her finding out more about how icons are painted, and what they mean. Third, it tells the story of a person allowing the message of the icon to speak to her spiritually, and allowing it to help her to enter more fully into the life of the Trinity. Last, I think we are reminded of the significance of two important and easily neglected components of the Christian life: patience and attention. It takes time to be a Christian; it takes time to pray and to learn. We need to learn anew the importance of really paying attention, to things and to people, if we are to understand them more fully. We look, but do we really see? This book will, of course, be ideal for those whose knowledge of Eastern Orthodoxy is minimal; but even for those who think they know their Orthodoxy, it is a marvellous example of how to 'read' an icon. It is for anybody who wants to take some time to focus on a particular aspect of Orthodox spirituality, and to try to understand more deeply how icons are far more than mere paintings that might be created for our delight or entertainment. Icons exist primarily to lead those who look at them more fully into the mysteries of the Christian faith, and in so doing to transform the way that they live their lives. The way we live, with ourselves and others, is in formed and enriched by our contemplation of the mystery of the Godhead. Persson makes this process of understanding clear in her book: we gaze on Rublev's icon, and we ponder more deeply the mystery of the Trinity - not just as an abstract set of ideas about the nature of God for our intellectual improvement, but also as a way by which our actions are changed for good. 'As we begin to live in closer relationship with God, his values will become ours, and those values will inform our actions. As Paul wrote, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect"' (Romans 12.2). Reviewed by The Revd Peter McGeary, Vicar of St Mary's, Cable Street, in east London, and a Priest-Vicar of Westminster Abbey From The Good Bookstall - July 2010 The Trinity - mystery beyond understanding! In this book Ann Persson gives us a pathway towards understanding it using Rublev's icon which shows three figures, understood as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sitting round a table. Their eyes and the turn of their heads suggest constant movement around the circle, unity and community. The space at the front is an open invitation to us. In the history, making and use of icons, and meditating on the story which was the inspiration for this icon, Ann leads us to an understanding of the dynamism of the Trinity in which we have our place and role, and suggests ways of joining this dance of God. A practical and prayerful book it is a good introduction to icons and enables us to understand why St. Sergius, in whose honour it was painted, thought that contemplation of the Holy Trinity destroys all discord as people let their minds dwell on the unity that exists between the Trinity. Reviewed by Celia Rees

About the Author

Ann, with her husband Paul, used their former home, Highmoor Hall in Oxfordshire, as a retreat house and a centre for creativity. Now retired, she enjoys leading retreats and quiet days, often for BRF. She enjoys combining her love of nature with her love of God's word in the events that she leads. She is the author of The Circle of Love (BRF, 2010) and Time for Reflection (BRF, 2011).

Customer reviews

Share your thoughts with other customers
See all 17 customer reviews

Top customer reviews

6 November 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
5 December 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
7 April 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
16 July 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
26 May 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
30 December 2010
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
16 January 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
10 January 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Would you like to see more reviews about this item?

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery and Returns

Need Help?