Artmonkish Artists:

An always-growing, forever-incomplete list, just to give a sense of the breadth of forms an Artmonk might aspire or respond to in her work:

Jaye DeFeo, Pauline Oliveros, Bill Viola, Wassily Kandinsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Theophane the Monk, Jim Woodring, Sister Corita Kent, Ranier Maria Rilke, Gary Snyder, Sunn 0))), Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelaire, Sanford Meisner, Christine Valters Paintner, Michael Kenna, Richard Long, Betsy Damon, Leonard Cohen, David Lynch, Joseph Beuys, Yves Klein, Marina Abramović, Mary Beth Edelson, Stan Brakhage, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, Andrei Tarkovsky, Derek Jarman, Carolee Schneemann, John Cage, Vito Acconci, Bill Viola, “outsider” artists Henry Darger and Ferdinand Cheval, Jerzi Grotowski, Peter Zumthor, Genesis P. Orridge, David Tibet, Laura Riding, Kris Kuksi, Adam Yauch a.k.a MCA, Rabelais, and honorarily, James Arthur “Art” Monk. And so many more! Keep sending suggestions to nathan@artmonastery.org.

Also, see the Theology & (Theatre) Arts Round-Up, a great list over at Transpositions.co.uk, at the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, University of St Andrews

Vigils and the Monastic Cycle

  • Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day, by David Steindl-Rast and Sharon Lebell
  • Art & Death, by Chris Townsend
  • Shelley Keaney’s Philosophy of Death class from Yale (iTunesU free download)
  • The Artist’s Rule, by Christine Valters Paintner

Art and Art-Making

Monasticism and Community

Interfaith Monasticism:

Chinese Buddhist & Taoist Monasticism:

Japanese Monasticism

Eastern & Western Christian Monasticism

Tibetan & Indian Buddhist Monasticism

Southeast Asian (Theravada and Zen Buddhist) Monasticism

Jewish Monasticism and Kibbutzism


Community’s Shadow Side & Dystopian Classics:



  • The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
  • Saint Francis, by Nikos Kazantzakis
  • Narcissus and Goldmund, by Herman Hesse
  • The Glass Bead Game, Herman Hesse (kind of monastic)
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller Jr. (Miller’s 1959 novel follows the Monks of the Order of St. Leibowitz as they attempt to preserve the remnants of civilization after a nuclear war.)
  • Anathem, by Neil Stephenson (in which individuals enter “concents”… monastic communities for intellectual pursuits)


  • Rilke’s Book of Hours, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
  • Love Poems from God: 12 Sacred Voices from East and West, translations by Daniel Ladinsky


Religion and Philosophy

  • The End of Your World, by Adyashanti
  • Spiritual Enlightenment: the Damnedest Thing, by Jed McKenna
  • Religion Within the Bounds of Bare Reason, by Immanuel Kant
  • The Magic of Ritual, by Tom F. Driver
  • A Short History of Myth, by Karen Armstrong
  • The Varieties of Religious Experience, by William James
  • Religion, Values and Peak Experiences, by Abraham Maslow
  • Creative Evolution, by Henri Bergson
  • The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, by Henri Bergson
  • Philosophy and the World, by Karl Jaspers
  • Modern Man in Search of a Soul, by C.G. Jung
  • Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, by Iris Murdoch
  • The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer
  • The Passionate State of Mind, by Eric Hoffer
  • Death of the Soul, by William Barrett
  • Sacred Pleasure, by Riane Eisler
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
  • Techgnosis, by Erik Davis
  • Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas
  • The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard
  • Embracing the Beloved: Relationship as a Path of Awakening, by Stephen and Ondrea Levine



  • The Roots of Christian Mysticism, by Olivier Clément
  • Inner Christianity: a Guide to the Esoteric Tradition, by Richard Smoley
  • The Cloud of Unknowing, edited by William Johnston
  • Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms, by Norman Fischer
  • Putting on the Mind of Christ, by Jim Marion, forward by Ken Wilber
  • The Mystery of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Teachings of the Christian Mystics, edited by Andrew Harvey
  • The Gospel in Brief, by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels
  • Beyond Belief, by Elaine Pagels
  • Adam, Eve and the Serpent, by Elaine Pagels
  • Jesus and Buddha, by Marcs Borg
  • The Heart of Christianity, by Marcus Borg
  • Living the Apostle’s Creed, by David Steindl-Rast
  • Open Mind, Open Heart, by Thomas Keating
  • Confessions of Saint Augustine
  • Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, text by Hildegard with commentary by Matthew Fox
  • The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
  • Seven Days of Solitude: A Guidebook for a Personal Retreat, by Brother Ramon, SSF

Meditation, Mind Fitness, & Neuroscience