Among those who write in the area of spirituality today, who’s being read? Here’s my list of spiritual writers who are highly influential today in the English-speaking world:

·         Henri Nouwen- Dutch/American, Roman Catholic, priest. Perhaps the most widely-read and most-influential among all contemporary authors in spirituality.

·         Thomas Merton – Roman Catholic, monk, one of the most influential spiritual writers in the past 100 years.

·          C.S. Lewis – British, layman, Anglican. Well-known across both religious and secular circles. Brought a literary genius to his articulation of the Christian faith.

·         Jim Wallis – American, Evangelical, layman, popular-evangelist, social activist, social organizer. The closest our age has to a “Dorothy Day”.  Widely read and respected across all denominational lines.

·         Thomas Halik – Roman Catholic, priest, Czechoslovakian, recent winner of the prestigious Templeton award.

·         Parker Palmer – Quaker, layman, American, much-respected across all denominational lines. Has written brilliantly on the spirituality of education and on achieving a Christian balance in life.

·         Alan Jones – Episcopalian, priest, American.  Wisdom drawn from the deep wells of Christian tradition. Practical spirituality with depth.

·         Carlo Carretto – Roman Catholic, hermit/monk, Italian.  Carretto spend many years living as a hermit in the Sahara desert and writes out of that experience.

·         Ruth Burrows – British, Carmelite, nun. Deep insights into mysticism, faith, and contemplative prayer. Eminent common sense, blended with a deep knowledge of the mystical tradition.

·         Richard Rohr – American, Franciscan, priest, popular evangelist. Numerous books on prayer, masculine spirituality, addictions, overcoming dualism, overcoming sectarianism, finding balance in your life, scriptural commentary.

·         Wendy Wright – American, lay woman, Roman Catholic. A specialist regarding Francis de Sales and Jane Chantel, but with wider writings, especially about the place of devotions within our spiritual lives.

·         Peter Tyler – British, Roman Catholic, layman. A specialist in Carmelite spirituality. An emerging young voice.

·         Thomas Keating – American, Roman Catholic, monk. The widely-accepted “canon” on contemplative prayer.

·          John Main – British/Canadian, monk, a popular, trustworthy guide on Contemplative prayer.

·          Laurence Freeman – British, monk, another trustworthy guide on Contemplative prayer

·         Kathleen Norris – American, Presbyterian, lay, Oblate of St. Benedict. Deeply immersed in the tradition of the Desert Fathers and equally attuned to our spiritual struggles within contemporary culture.

·         Trevor Herriot – Canadian, layman, Roman Catholic. A powerful apologia for protecting nature, but his more explicit spiritual writing are highly reflective essays apposite the place and role of our sexual energies in either protecting or despoiling nature.

·         Barbara Brown Taylor – American, Episcopalian, priest, popular-evangelist. Strong literary writer with an audience within secular circles. A unique blend of insight, scripture, tradition, and balance. Always a worthwhile read.

·         David Steindl-Rast – American, Roman Catholic, monk, had the distinction of being Henri Nouwen’s spiritual director. Writes with depth, drawing many of his insights from the richness of monasticism.

·         Anthony de Mello – Indian, Roman Catholic, Jesuit. Brings the insights of Buddhism and Eastern spiritualities into his articulation of Christian spirituality.

·         James Martin – American, Roman Catholic, Jesuit. A key, young voice within spirituality today. Widely popular, and deservedly so.

·          Anne Lamott – American, Episcopalian, lay woman. A unique blend of insight, Christian commitment, and blistering iconoclasm.

·         Marilynne Robinson – American, novelist, Congregationalist. Not a spirituality writer per se, but an exceptional novelist whose characters express her spirituality. An exceptionally bright apologetic voice.

·         Simone Weil – French, Jewish, lay woman. Her writings manifest a spiritual sensitivity and depth that includes her in most discussions about contemporary spirituality.

·         Etty Hillesum – Dutch, Jewish, lay woman. Her writings exhibit an extraordinary insight into spirituality. And she backed them up with martyrdom.

·         Scott Hahn – American, Roman Catholic, layman. Very popular, catechetical and instructional.

·         Rabbi Abraham Heschel – American, Jewish, Rabbi. Exceptional spiritual commentaries on the Jewish scriptures. Widely read and respected.

·         Rob Bell – American, Evangelical, popular-evangelist. A brilliant young voice. Good balance, good insights, and an exceptional capacity to speak to a contemporary audience.

·         Rick Warren – American, Evangelist. Stunningly popular across denominational lines. His book, The Purpose-Driven Life, has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and is worth the read.

·         John Allen – American, Roman Catholic, layman, journalist. Most everyone’s ear-to-the ground vis-à-vis what’s happening ecclesially around the world.

·         Joyce Rupp – American, Roman Catholic, nun. Good, insightful, particularly popular with women.

·         Michael Higgins – Canadian, layman, Roman Catholic. Does a lot of highly insightful journalistic commentary on contemporary spirituality. The official biographer of Nouwen.

·         Joan Chittister – American, Roman Catholic, nun. Powerful social justice and feminist voice. Knows the tradition of monasticism very well and draws key insights out of its deep wells.

·         Paula D’Arcy – American, Roman Catholic, lay woman. Inspires a near-cult following among devotees particularly apposite her spirituality of healing.

·         Annie Dillard – American, Roman Catholic (convert), lay. Her writings invariably articulate an aesthetic and moral insight that is a natural friend of religion.

·         Elizabeth Johnson – American, Roman Catholic, nun. An exceptional mentor for those who searching for a better intellectual apologia for their faith.

·         Bill Plotkin – American, “Naturalist”, layman. Challenging writings vis-à-vis the place of nature in shaping our souls.

·          Belden Lane – American, Layman, “Naturalist”, akin to Plotkin.

My apologies to those whom I didn’t name, particularly those young, emerging voices such as Kerry Weber, David Wells, and Bill McGarvey, among others. Who should be more widely read.