Tantalus and the Pelican

Contrary to what may be supposed, monasticism does not represent an escape from the world so much as a deeper engagement with the reality of being human.

In this book, Nicholas Buxton explores the principles and paradoxes of the spiritual life, combining a lively and informative discussion of the Christian monastic tradition with the remarkable story of his own personal journey.

“As a reader might imagine, this book can be compelling. Buxton’s trajectory is dramatic, and he writes about it with clarity and candour. He’s well-read and well-versed in the early monastic heavy hitters, quoting the abbas, Evagrius, and Benedict extensively and easily.”

American Benedictine Review

“Sensitive and perceptive…  It is also very readable… Stretching out to what is of ultimate value is tantalising; a book about it must inevitably be incomplete, leaving us wanting more. Good books do that.”

Jonathan Ewer, Church Times

The Wilderness Within

Drawing extensively on the teachings of Jesus and other biblical narratives, The Wilderness Within encourages us to explore with honesty our motives for practising meditation,, and explains the need to create a positive and balanced spiritual discipline in our lives.

Meditation is about taking a step back from ourselves, and putting things into perspective. It is about learning to see reality as it really is, rather than as we think we want it to be. Ultimately, it is about becoming more fully who and what we really are.

“This is an exceptionally well written book aimed at those interested in exploring Christian meditation.”

Kirsty Anderson, The Tablet

“This is an absolute gem of a book… not so much a how-to-meditate as a why-to-meditate book. In this regard it is one of the best I have come across. It is quite simply superb!”

Revd Canon Christopher Collingwood, York Minster



The Wilderness Within: Meditation and Modern Life, London: Canterbury Press, 2014.

Ed. with R. Noake, Religion, Society and God: The Role of Faith in Contemporary Britain, London: SCM Press, 2013.

Tantalus and the Pelican: Exploring Monastic Spirituality Today, London: Continuum Books, 2009.

Articles and Chapters

Prayer for the Day Vol II: 365 Inspiring Daily Reflections (contributor), London: Watkins Publishing, 2016.

Prayer for the Day Vol I: 365 Inspiring Daily Reflections (contributor), London: Watkins Publishing, 2014.

‘Creating the Sacred: Artist as Priest, Priest as Artist’ in Arya, R. (Ed.), Contemplations of the Spiritual in Art, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013.

Review of Laura Belém and Shaeron Caton-Rose, Art and Christianity 71 (2012): 9-10.

Review of Air and Aether, Liverpool Cathedral, Art and Christianity 65 (2011): 15.

‘Not Exactly a Selling Point: Religion and Reality TV’ in Thomas, L. (Ed.), Religion, Consumerism and Sustainability: Paradise Lost? London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

‘Seeing the Self as Other: Televising Religious Experience’ in Deacy, C. and Arweck, E. (Eds), Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009.

‘Stability’ in Holdaway, G. (Ed.), The Oblate Life: A Handbook for Spiritual Formation, Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2008.

‘The Crow and the Coconut: Accident, coincidence, and causation in the Yogavasistha.’ Philosophy East & West 56 (2006): 393-409.

Review of G. Fields, ‘Religious Therapeutics: Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra’ (New York 2001) Mental Health, Religion & Culture 6 (2003): 103-105.

‘Is Jung’s view of God a non-realist one?’  Filozofija 2 (2002): 71-82.