Watkins Books, one of the premier spiritual/New Age/occult bookshops in London, put together an “A” list of 100 most influential living spiritual people in the world; luminaries topping the list include Eckhart Tolle at #1, the Dalai Lama at #2 and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer at #3. The list, though many may disagree with it, makes some very funny points about the importance of sales and public image. (Pope Ratzinger, for instance, is wedged firmly between Don Michael Ruiz and Krishna Das, at #34.) Not surprisingly, a major way to tally the popularity of each spiritual leader was through their Google search rankings. (Will SEO be the most important spiritual and ideological battlefield of the 21st century?)
Watkins Books reports:
We’re delighted to share our début list of the 100 most spiritually influential living people, that was published in the Spring issue #26 of the Watkins Review. Yes, we’ve taken up the not so simple task of naming the most popular authors and spiritual teachers, whose contribution in spirituality and spreading awareness is affecting us all…
The lists of lists of people, just keep going and going. However, the Watkins Review believes that an important list has been long overdue, and we are delighted to share with you our list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. Lists of influential people contribute to the discourse and issues that each person represents, and the Watkins Review hopes that our list will nurture the debates surrounding contemporary spirituality.
There are several factors that were taken into account when compiling the list. Listed below are the main three:
1) The person has to be alive
2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale
3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, and highlighted in throughout the blogosphere
Click through for the full list of the 100 most spiritually influential people—and share your thoughts on who should have been included, not included, or ranked differently below.