The author uses the painting “Christ Mocked (The Crowning With Thorns)” by Flemish painter Hieronymous Bosch (1450-1516) as a meditation on being human covering aspects of human life – frailties, needs, desires, sins and disappointments, in conjunction with the political, scientific, psychological and devotional world of early modern Europe, forming the five sections for consideration…
A deeply thoughtful and inspiring book combining medieval thought with 21st century life.
“A many-layered analysis”
The Church Times 30 January 2009
This is a very good extended meditation on a specific moment in the Passion story; it is also a good example of the quality of patient, intelligent attention that is (or should be) much more fostered than it has been of late in Christian spirituality.
The Baptist Times 5 February 2009
…not so much art detective work as profound theological exploration of spiritual insights. It is a fascinating and rewarding book.
The Times 9 February 2009
For Lewis-Anthony, Bosch’s representations of Christ’s tormentors inform us that to be human means to connect with others.
More importantly, he works his way to the painting’s centre: Christ. Ultimately, he argues that this is Bosch’s message: that Jesus Christ is the calm centre in a circling, threatening world. It is that sense of peace that pulses through the book. Considered, wide-ranging and intelligent, Circles of Thorns is gently enjoyable.
The Tablet 14 March 2009
This is a passionte meditation on Bosch’s painting…A heartfelt book about what it means to be fully human… The reader is caught up into the painting’s political message which is revealed as supremely modem. Equally, the author’s broad-based contextualisation reveals Bosch’s psychological depth.