Joe Carter has published his list of the 50 Most Influential Religious Figures in American History. I won’t reprint the list here, but it’s an interesting list. Unfortunately, he gives the list in alphabetical order. I would have liked to see him try to rank these people in order of influence/significance. That’s always an impossible task, but it’s fun to watch people try.
I did notice some surprising omissions.
- American liberal theology was noticeably underrepresented. What about William Ellery Channing, Harry Ward Beecher, and Harry Emerson Fosdick?
- And, since we’re talking about American religiosity in general, where are the Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau?
- What about U.S. Hispanic religious leaders? Certainly figures like Padre Martinez or Virgilio Elizondo are worthy of consideration.
- And, of course, let’s not forget Gary Larson. I think my generation learned more about religion from the Far Side cartoons than any of the above combined.
Is there anyone that you would want to see included in a list like this?